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A New Beginning

Every January 1st, we look at this time of the year as a new beginning, a fresh start, a new year.   Each year many people make resolutions, what we are going to do, what we are going to correct.   Probably the most popular one is to diet, to get that weight off, particularly the extra pounds most of us seem to put on from Thanksgiving to New Years.   I make them too, mine this year is to learn how to put in my new contact lenses.   I like them much better than my glasses and I can get them out, I have trouble getting them in.   So that is my little mountain to conquer this year.    As we all know, New Year resolutions seem to fail most of the time.

But there are other mountains far more important and failure should not be an option, but unfortunately it happens.   Now many do not want to fail, they have good intentions at succeeding, but the good intentions do not materialize.   One good intention you should have is to attend church and become a faithful member.   I think many want to conquer this, but things happen.   Jesus talked about this in a parable found in Luke 8: 4-15, known as the “Parable of the Sower and the Seed”.

4 When a large crowd was coming together, and those from the various cities were journeying to Him, He spoke by way of a parable: 5 "The sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell beside the road, and it was trampled under foot and the birds of the air ate it up. 6 "Other seed fell on rocky soil, and as soon as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. 7 "Other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out. 8 "Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great." As He said these things, He would call out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

9 His disciples began questioning Him as to what this parable meant. 10 And He said, "To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is in parables, so that SEEING THEY MAY NOT SEE, AND HEARING THEY MAY NOT UNDERSTAND.  

11 "Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God. 12 "Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved. 13 "Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away. 14 "The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity. 15 "But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance .

This parable talks about four conditions that cause people to fail or succeed; the first three are failures and the last is success.   Boiling this down, the failures and success are caused by us, not anyone else.   The first three conditions describe the different ways things are presented to you.   The devil steals the word causing you not to believe, but the devil can only do that if you let him.   You believe for awhile and leave or all of life’s issues get in your way, worries, riches and pleasures take the place of your Christianity.    The last condition is success, those who heard the word of God with “an honest and good heart, hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance”.  

So what does this mean?   If I had to pick one word from the parable, I would choose the last word, perseverance.   Perseverance is simply this, those who are faithful Christians set their priorities in a different way than those who do not.   Remember God loves the entire world, he sent his Son to save you, but God also gives you the choice regarding salvation.   Those who are successful are that way by choice; they made a decision in their lives where their priorities are and each of us have to make that choice, that decision.    Those in the church face these same decisions, but we have set our priorities that God is first.   All of us have the issues Jesus described here, but choose to handle them with God on our side and you can too.  

All it takes is a choice, decision to follow God faithfully and Heaven is yours.   Make your resolution this year to follow God and allow him to lead your life.   Come and join us on our journey to Heaven.

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