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A New Year's Message from Turbeville First Baptist

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Family,

We once again find ourselves facing the end of one year and the beginning of another. What one word would you use to describe 2020? What are you looking forward to in 2021? We know that 2020 has been a very difficult year. Despite everything that was the totality of 2020 we have been blessed beyond measure. While we have mourned the loss of loved ones, uncertainties, and chaos God is still in control. The author of Hebrews writes, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). The beauty of this verse is that it tells us how to live a Christ-centered life. We know that God does not abandon us but when we are actively living in sin it makes the relationship strained. We also know that if we repent, He will forgive us. 

As we go into the New Year what kind of you will you be? Will your 2021 slogan be New Year, new you? Or New Year, Same You? The year 2020 has exposed a lot of weaknesses, idolatry, self-worship, and the list could go on. While it looks like 2021 will start where 2020 left off, for the world it can be a new beginning for you. The first question we should ask ourselves is where is the joy? Have we been able to find joy during this difficult time? If the answer is no, then we must evaluate ourselves and find out what we have been allowing to steal our joy.

As a realist I know that joy seems impossible during the most difficult of times. However, if we truly believe in the God of Hebrews 13:5, then we should have some modicum of peace and joy despite everything we have been through this year. So, if we believe in a God that “never leaves us nor forsakes us” then we must quit acting like He does. In 2021 make it a goal to be content in everything. Being content does not mean that we are happy about the situation or thing that steals our joy, but we know that it is a temporary thing that we can endure with God. This can be difficult given our newer and bigger is better economy. There is nothing bigger than our God. There is nothing newer than the newness of life we receive when we begin our relationship with Jesus Christ. We are to look to God for all things and in all things. 

I encourage you to join me in making 2021 a year of joy. With a focus on being content in all things. The words of God through Joshua still ring true today. Joshua said, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). Finally, remember that no matter where 2021 takes us, God has been there already and is currently there with us. 

Felicia and I want to wish you all a Happy and prosperous New Year.

Love,

Pastor Ryan

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