Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year . . . New life

Today is the last day of 2011. People are saying farewell to 2011 by gathering with friends at parties, going to restaurants and standing outside in Times Square to watch a big crystal ball drop (and what the appeal is in that, I have no clue). 

For many, New Year's Day represents new hope and a new beginning.  The old year is over and a new year has begun.  People take this time to make resolutions to be better in the new year - lose weight, spend more time with their kids, etc.  Usually, however, by the end of the year, these resolutions have been broken and the person is right back where he or she started. 

When a person repents of his sins and asks Jesus to come into their hearts to be his or her Savior, he or she is born again.  This means a new, clean life and a new beginning. That person becomes a new creation in Christ.  They become children of God and have eternal life in Christ.  All of their sins have been forgiven and forgotten. In contrast with the broken resolutions, if we sin after we have been born again, Jesus stands ready to forgive us  and welcome us back into the fold.  The blood He shed on the Cross covers our sins.

Unlike the New Year, which shows up without us doing anything at all, being born again is a conscious decision.  We have to open our mouth and ask Jesus to forgive our sins in order to be born again and receive that new and eternal life.  By repenting of your sins and receiving Jesus as your Savior, you escape the wrath of hell and get to spend eternity in Heaven.

Friend, if you are reading this and you have not yet repented of your sins and received Jesus as your Savior, what's holding you back? Why not make this new year the first year of your walk with Christ? If you need help, here's a prayer: 

"Lord, I know I am a sinner, and I need Your forgiveness for my sins. I believe that You died for me on the Cross. Please come into my heart and make me new. I want you to be my Lord and Savior. I give my life totally and completely to You. Thank you for forgiving my sins and making me new."

Did you say the prayer? If so, congratulations! You are now my brother or sister in Christ. Your first step should be to purchase a Bible. Start by reading the first four books of the New Testament, also known as the Gospels. They will tell you about Jesus. The second thing you should do is find a Bible-believing church where you can learn about being a Christian and you can meet other Christians. I would love to know if you prayed to receive Jesus. Please enter a comment to let me know.

Happy New Year!  I pray for a happy, healthy and prosperous new year for you!


Monday, December 26, 2011

The write style - Biblically speaking

If you enjoy reading (like I do) you read everything that certain authors write because you like their writing style.  You may enjoy the way a fiction writer tell a story and how they develop characters.  You may enjoy how a non-fiction writer presents information.  An author's writing style reflects their personality and their knowledge of a subject or their passion for a story. 

The Bible is the Holy Spirit inspired Word of God, but God dictated His words to humans to transcribe.  (I am a legal assistant, so I do a lot of transcribing.) Each transcriber of God's Word had his own writing style that revealed his personality.  If you read the books of the Bible carefully, you will be able to see the personality traits of each transcriber. Let's take a look at a few of these transcribers. 

My favorite Bible transcriber would have to be the apostle John.  John 1:1-18 reads like prose and is beautifully written. 1 John 4 is all about love, the love of Jesus for us and our love for one another.  John also wrote the book of Revelation, with its vivid descriptions of the end times.  Since I like to write as well as read, I look forward to meeting John in Heaven to swap notes, so to speak. 

Reading Paul's epistles reveals a very different personality than John.  Paul was very authoritative. He often used athletic metaphors such as "running so that I complete the race" or "fighting the good fight" to get his point across.  When a fellowship or a person was in the wrong, Paul didn't mince words - he told it like it was.  He often comes across as harsh, yet he had a passion for people to be saved, especially his Jewish brethren. 

Luke is another transcriber with a different personality.  Luke was a historian.  He was very detail oriented, due no doubt to his training as a physician.  Luke is the only one who reported that while Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, his sweat appeared like large drops of blood.  He vividly described the Holy Spirit descending on the people in the Upper Room and the founding of the early church.  Luke also described in great detail how Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus and his conversion to a follower of Christ.

Moses was one of the greatest transcribers of God's words in the Old Testament.  The first five books of the Bible, known as the Pentateuch, were written by Moses.  Although he was not an eyewitness to the events that happened before he was born, he his descriptive words make these events come to life.  He is a huge part of the Exodus story, yet he describes himself as a humble man who loved God.

I invite you to take another look at the books of the Bible to discover who their transcribers were and try to figure out their writing styles and their personality.  It just might just add new life to your study of the Bible! 

Thanks for reading!  See you next time!