Word for Word 12/30/20

Marcelline and Rev. Sedar Shako

Do you know the song “This Is the Day the Lord Has Made”? Some of you know and some may not.  Every day is not the same and the plans God is making for us each day are not the same also. This is the new year God is providing to us again.

As we are approaching the end of 2020, I come to thank God for all the good things and the plans he had for us. Some people will say the year 2020 wasn’t good for us because we lost beloved ones and there were many bad things that happened during the year, especially COVID-19, of course, and you are right. Was God not in control when all the bad and difficult things were happening to us? Has God forgotten his people who were bought with an imperishable price (Blood)? I Peter 1:18-19. I say no! God can’t forget his people and he is with us any time.

When they came out of Egypt, and walked in the wilderness, the Jewish people spoke against God, and against Moses, the servant of God. Then God punished them and sent the fiery serpent among the people that bit the people and many of them died because they didn’t pay attention to God’s command, Numbers 21:1-10.

After they were bitten by the serpent, the people returned to Moses and asked for forgiveness and said, “Moses, we have sinned against God.  Pray to God so God may forgive us”. While Moses was praying, God told him to make a brass serpent and set it on the brass pole and when you are bitten by the fiery serpent, lift your eyes up to a brass serpent so you will save your life.

Today, Jesus is like the brass serpent. When you are in trouble, or suffering with any illness, what you can do is lift up your eyes to Heaven and keep faith, He will deliver you...” As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man (Jesus) who is in heaven. John 3:14.

Here in the United States, it is now time for us to make a return to God by confessing our sin to one another, put God first in our activities, love the people who dislike us, and be kind to everyone no matter who they are, pray to God in truth and reality; and to forgive our country and the leader. 2 Chronicles 7:13-14: “If my people, who are called by my name, humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” Then God will have pity on us, he will forgive our country and heal America. Remember what happened to the people in Nineveh, Jonas 3:3-10.

Year 2020 has had its ups and downs. We went through many difficult situations. I can tell you the comfort is that you do not lose your faith in God. I beg you to not remember the negative things or situations that happened to you this last year. Sometimes God allowed you to face difficult situations, as in Job 1:6-12, so he can see how you will react to it. No matter what happened or was lost, forget it.

Isaiah 43:18-19: “Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it. I will make a way in the wilderness”.

God knows your situation. In Malachi 3:16-17, then those who feared spoke one with another and God listened, and heard, and a book of memory was written before him, for those who feared God and honored His name.

We are sharing the word about the New Year. In the Bible, God commanded the priest to bless the Jewish people on the first day of the year.  In Numbers 6:22-27, the Lord spoke to Moses saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying ‘thus you shall bless the Israelites’. You shall say to them, ‘The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace’. So they shall put my name on the Israelites and I will bless them.  Amen”.

This is the blessing of God pronounced by the priest to the people and we are saying this even in the country in which we are living. I pray for the blessing of the Lord be upon your business and family members and to all who belong to you. Some of you will say we are suffering with COVID-19 since March of this year and we do not know how this New Year will be.

Exodus 14:1... As the Jewish people came out of Egypt they walked in the wilderness. When they lifted up their eyes before them, they saw the Red Sea and at their back were the Egyptians coming to destroy them and on both sides were the mountains Pi-ha-hi-roth and Ba-al-ze-phon.  All of them were afraid and lost control. Listen to what God said to Moses: “Why do you cry out to me? Tell the Israelites to go forward.”  

I know when you watch television, social media and radio you see what is going on and how the people are dealing with COVID-19. You do not know what to do, of course. God has plans. The year 2021 will be different, if we trust him and have faith, God will heal our land. Hebrew 11: 1-6.

My wife and I wish you a Happy New Year 2021.

Pastor Sedar Shako
Lansing United Methodist Church
Grace United Methodist Church, New Albin

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