Dec 27th, 2020
Hello and welcome to season 3 episode 10 of The Berean Manifesto; 10 minutes or so a week (more like 5 this week) of faith, hope, and love for the modern Christian. I’m Pastor Bill of The Ekklesian House and in this installment we are going to talk about endings and new beginnings.
As we wrap up one year and step into the next, were going to take some time to look at Isaiah 43 and Philippians 3. Isaiah 43:25-28 CSB God says, “ I – I sweep away transgressions for my own sake and remember your sins no more.  Remind me. Let’s argue the case together. Recount the facts, so that you may be vindicated.  Your first father sinned, and your mediators have rebelled against me.  So I defiled the officers of the sanctuary, and set Jacob apart for destruction and Israel for scorn.” This is a great time to look back at your life, over the past year and beyond and identify those things you know you faulted in. Bring them to God, lay them at His feet and argue with Him why they make you guilty. Your vindication comes in the saving Grace of your faith in Christ.
Once you’ve done this you’re ready to move forward. Isaiah 43:16-21 CSB says, “ “Do not remember the past events, pay no attention to things of old.  Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.  Wild animals – jackals and ostriches – will honor me, because I provide water in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people.  The people I formed for myself will declare my praise.” Now I’m not one to grab ahold of every single scripture and say that’s specifically for me no matter what the context is I’m going to stand on that scripture because it’s gotta be 100% true for me as it was for them. I’m not going to say that. However, I am going to say that the same God that said I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, wild animals – jackals and ostriches – will honor me because I provide water in the wilderness. The same God that said these things is the same God that you worship. That you follow, that you adore. And any good father, good father, when you ask for good things – they give it. When you need water in the desert ask God, when you need a path cleared ask God. When you’re in the wilderness and you need and you need and you need, turn to God. He’s not some sugar daddy or some arm on a slot machine, no. But He is a good father, and just like any good father He wants to hear the voice of His children and He wants to provide for them. Within scripture. -Now, that you’ve laid that stuff at Gods feet forget about them. Move forward. Plot a course with God.
Paul puts that course in perspective in Philippians 3:12-21 CSB says, “ Not that I have already reached the goal or am already perfect, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus.  Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead,  I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God's heavenly call in Christ Jesus.  Therefore, let all of us who are mature think this way. And if you think differently about anything, God will reveal this also to you.  In any case, we should live up to whatever truth we have attained.  Join in imitating me, brothers and sisters, and pay careful attention to those who live according to the example you have in us.  For I have often told you, and now say again with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.  Their end is destruction; their god is their stomach; their glory is in their shame. They are focused on earthly things,  but our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly wait for a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.  He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of his glorious body, by the power that enables him to subject everything to himself.”
This is Pastor Bill saying “Until next time…”