Monthly Message Jan 2023

Dear friends,

Several people have kindly (and, I assume, sincerely!) wished me a Happy New Year.  But can it really be happy in the light of Ukraine, rail strikes, mail strikes, nurses’ strikes, the NHS and care service crisis, the cost of living and so on?  We may not be able to do much, or even anything, about our circumstances but we can do a lot about our approach to life.

In Psalm 119 verses 153 to 160 the Psalmist asks God twice to renew his life and then to preserve his life.

  • v154 “renew my life according to your promise

I am told there are 365 promises in the Bible (I haven’t checked) so that makes one for every day of the year.  Let’s make 2023 a year for reflecting on those “very great and precious promises” (II Peter 1:4).

  • Joshua 23:14 “…not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.”
  • Philippians 1:6 “…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
  • v156 “renew my life according to your laws”.

This world’s values are empty and deceptive and its standards lead more to corruption than to health and holiness.  Where do we turn for a guide to life and to eternity but to God’s laws, God’s principles, God’s Word.

  • Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”
  • Psalm 19:7 “…the law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.” 
  • v159 “preserve my life according to your love

Renewal is necessary, but by definition it constantly needs to be renewed!  Preservation means permanence, God in his love keeping the believer in eternal life.

  • John 3:16 God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
  • Jeremiah 31:3 “I have loved you with an everlasting love;I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”

How might we enter, and stand in, this new year?  By being renewed through claiming God’s promises, and by living according to his Word and being secure in his love and grace.  I sincerely wish you that sort of happy New Year.

Tony Mason

Do you have our Spring Event firmly in your diary?  Sat., 11th March, 09.45, Salvation Army Hall, Abbey Lane (next to URC), Saffron Walden.  Theme:  “Elijah – a man for our times”.

Hope to see you there!