Summary: To magnify our Great Lord for His attribute of "RENEWING" things.
HAPPY NEW YEAR OF RENEWAL-PART I
First things first. What is the chief and highest end of man? Let the revered Christian Book namely the Westminster catechism give the answer. Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify (worship) God, and fully to enjoy him forever. When it comes to glorifying Him and fully enjoying Him, let it be said that the entire exercise ought to be "absolutely genuine emanating right from the innermost core of one’s being (read spirit)". This would lead to the next question, how could the process of glorifying Him originate right from the depths of one’s heart? It is only possible, when a person is truly fascinated by His unique traits. Remember, worshipping God for WHAT HE IS, is the highest form of worship, standing head and shoulders above other forms of worship, which come with strings attached, such as worshipping Him for the blessings, He showers upon us. While on the subject, at this stage, it would serve us well to look at the synonym of the word "Glorify", which is "Magnify". When, one magnifies Him, that is to say, when one keenly observes His Divine nature, with a magnifying glass, as it were, the "spiritual explorer" (if you permit me to use this expression) in you is bound to come across several unique attributes of the Almighty, which would at once evoke awe, and in turn lead to spontaneous, heart-felt worship and praise.
In this New Year message of five sub-headings punctuated with...what else... "Hallelujahs" (incidentally Hallel in Hebrew language means To praise and Yah means God) I would like to bring before my readership, one definite attribute in the Almighty, which at once fills me with a spirit of adoration that is ...He is not only a Master of Creation, He is equally adept in the work of RENEWAL. Scriptures stand as a testimony to the fact that He can RENEW an individual, a family, a Nation and even His Creation. Let us go step by step in this message firstly focusing on His act of renewal in the life of an individual
ACTION: Display of pictures of
a) Stock-broker bemoaning loss
b) Lightning strike (Animation)
Down in the dumbs financially as you stand at the threshold of a New Year? Gone broke in the Stock broking business? Now no one would have known better about financial upheavals than one Mr. Job, the resident of Uz (Job 1:13-22) who did not go broke gradually but lost it ALL in a space of few hours of a dreadful day. Worse was to follow. Anyway, in this message I would stick to the collapse of "Job Corp", as it existed thousands of years back. What was its C.E.O’s response? Let the Scripture take over...light shines through his spiritual maturity...
"...Then he fell to the ground in WORSHIP and said:"Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised."" --Job 1:20-21
Well, how did the Job story end? For the one who reposed his faith on the Almighty’s goodness even at the time of severe provocation (Job 2:9)......
"... the LORD RESTORED his fortunes and gave him TWICE as much as he had before."- Job 42:10. Talk of Biblical boom-doom-boom trade cycle...
Surely for those of us, caught in financial troubles, the moral of Job’s troubles comes booming "cast all your burdens on Him". A breakthrough is just around the corner (I Peter 5:7/10). God can breathe life into any "dead and buried" financial situation and quicken it up.
ACTION: Display of "reverse aging" pictures'
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him.....No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be AbraHam, for I have made you a father of many Nations.-Genesis 17:5
God also said to Abraham, "As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be SaraH.-Genesis 17:15
From the case of individual Job, let’s move onto a family. The one of Abram and Sarai. Well, the aged couple representing the "Biblical first family of Faith" had long given-up hope of becoming parents, so much so they had used debatable surrogacy to have a child thirteen years earlier (Genesis 16). Lo and behold suddenly at a grim period in their lives when all of vim, vigour and vitality had ebbed out of their ageing bodies, there comes a renewal (Genesis 17:16-17) of Divine promise made earlier (Genesis 15:4) that they would have a son. Quite justifiably Father Abraham being well aware of the effects of Father Time had had on his and his wives body (all of 90 years old) initially laughed at the prospect of begetting a son at that age. However, he took the omnipotent God at His Word (for the word "impossible" does not figure in the Creator’s dictionary). And the result? Boy, there were such metabolic, physical changes in the bodies of this aged couple that Grammy (of that age) Sarah acquires a new a glowing look which even modern-day rejuvenating beauty creams simply cannot bring about. Some time later, awed by her beauty a pagan King takes her into his harem and it is another story altogether that God delivers this Blessed Couple from this messy situation (Genesis 20). Shortly afterwards, arrives Baby Issac (in Hebrew means Laughter) bringing joyous laughter in the lives of now youthful Abraham and Sarah. Talk of 30 year olds "living inside" 90 year old bodies...