A Fresh Start

It is great to be back with you this week after being away last Sunday. I appreciate working with people like David, John and Kyle who are willing and capable to step in when I am away. I know you were blessed by hearing from David and John last week. This month we begin our second year with the Southwest Church. Our family has loved becoming part of this church family over the past year. The beginning of 2018 was a big change for us. A new year often means a time of change for people.
God’s people go through many changes throughout scripture. In the Old Testament, the children of Israel spent about 70 years in exile. When the time came for them to return to Jerusalem, the priorities for rebuilding were obvious. They needed to rebuild the city wall for defense and rebuild the temple for worship. After the foundation for the new temple was laid, the reactions of the people were very different. In Ezra 3:11-12 we read, “With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord: ‘He is good; his love toward Israel endures forever.’ And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy.”
Many look at a new year as a time for renewal in our own lives. It’s a time to start working out, to start reading our Bible, to pray more, to quit a bad habit or change some other behavior. Whether it’s a new year or just a time that we make a decision to change, the people in our lives will react in different ways. Some will embrace the changes while others will be more cynical. Like those we read about in Ezra, let’s just keep building what God has set before us. And for those of us who see others trying to make positive changes, let’s do what we can to encourage and be supportive.
Have a great 2019!

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