Happy New Year!

A new year is upon us. Some view this with eager optimism and anticipation. Others have a sense of foreboding and cynicism about what the future holds as a result of what has transpired over the course of 2016. What will happen in 2017? God alone knows for sure (Isa. 45:11). As believers, we rest in this truth, being confident that His will and purposes are being accomplished (Eph. 1:11). What happens will ultimately result in the greatest good (Rom. 8:28) and He will be given the glory He richly deserves (Eph. 3:20, 21).

For those of us who know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, let us commit anew to using the time in 2017 God has graciously bestowed upon us to proclaim the gospel of His Son to all who will give us the opportunity. Let us never forget—our purpose on this earth is to glorify our God, and one way we can accomplish this is to proclaim the gospel at every opportunity. Let us put ourselves into places and venues where we can declare God's plan of salvation to the ends of the earth. Purpose to “plant” and “water,” and trust God to give the increase (1 Cor. 3:5-10).

Let us keep in mind that most people who hear us tell them of their need of Christ will either simply reject us, argue with us, or try to do us harm (persecution). Our prayer, however, is that those who will listen and believe will be able to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 3:18).

So as the new year begins, we are optimistic and eager about what God is doing. Our hope and our confidence is completely in the Lord, not in the political maneuverings of men or governments. They will not thwart the program God has ordained for this age (Matt. 16:18). Christ’s spotless and unwrinkled bride will be presented to Him in the future (Eph. 5:27) as we are sanctified and cleansed (Eph. 5:26) during the “present evil world (age)” (Gal. 1:4). Perhaps this wedding will occur in 2017! Are we preparing? Are we ready? — Gary Freel