“One can be bad and still be loved by God…”
I shared with a woman my age on a train ride to NJ that no one is righteous before God on their own account (Romans 3:10). She asked if I considered babies good. Not even a sweet and innocent baby is good. Any good deeds I do are like filthy rags to God (Isaiah 64:6). Surely, I was sinful at birth (Psalm 51:5). I see it in every person and myself; no one has to be taught to sin, they just do. Thus, I have been reflecting on the fact that we all need Jesus, the only worthy Savior, for we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). God chooses to look on Jesus as the atonement for one’s sin. There is nothing I can do apart from God (John 15:5).
And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. - Ecclesiastes 4:4
This is what the LORD Almighty says: "It may seem marvelous to the remnant of this people at that time, but will it seem marvelous to me?" declares the LORD Almighty.
This is what the LORD Almighty says: " I will save my people from the countries of the east and the west. I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem; they will be my people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God." -Zechariah 8:6-8
On another train ride, I spoke with a man named Adam, and he shared a verse he memorized and loved:
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. -Hebrews 13:8
I have been reflecting on that scripture all day this first day of 2023 (Hebrews 13:8). God’s purpose and desire has always been the same for His creation. And He always will be what He has been and what He is.
God said to Moses, “ I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘ I am has sent me to you.’” – Exodus 3:14
Reflections for 2023
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. -Micah 6:8
But godliness with contentment is great gain. -1 Timothy 6:6
This year I want to steward well the gift God has given me. When God returns to restore things as they should be, I will hear “well done good and faithful servant” and “great is your reward on heaven.” (Matthew 5:12, 25:21,23; Luke 6:23, 19:17).
For this new year, in 2023, God has put it on my heart to have humility before Him as I reflect how powerful He is, with fear and trembling to live in obedience (Philippians 2:12). But also to have joyful expectation of His purpose in this temporal, earthly life and of His promises for the future. He has done what He promised in the past, even miracles, and He can and will continue to do so. He is also the same God in joy and in pain, and He is just in everything He does (Psalm 111:7). God is loving, GREAT, and merciful. I am so thankful for his saving grace. In turn, I want to be continuously thankful, and I want to be gracious towards others. Furthermore, I want to live from the same power that rose Jesus from the dead (Ephesians 1:18-12)!
The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy.They are established for ever and ever, enacted in faithfulness and uprightness. He provided redemption for his people; he ordained his covenant forever— holy and awesome is his name. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise. -Psalm 111:7-10
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 6:23
He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. – Revelation 22:20
God is coming back very soon! I want to be ready if He comes back in 2023!