“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumph as trophies of Christ’s victory and through us spreads and makes evident the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere.” II Corinthians 2:14
Our verse for 2017 is II Corinthians 2:14. As we move into the coming year, many are consumed with the question, "What will the new year hold?" Whether your thoughts are filled with excitement and dreams or dominated by doubt and fear, we need to remind ourselves that the most important thing is not what the year holds, but the One who holds the year!
Christmas Is a reminder that God sent a savior, not a solution. We didn't need reason to show us the way home, we needed someone to save us. God --Himself--must be our focus in 2017. In this way, the New Year is God's reminder that the times are in His hands, lived one day at a time.
Real life has winners and losers. I am so glad we are victorious in Christ. In I Corinthians 2, Paul speaks of God leading us in triumph, (Greek Word: θριαμβεύω --Transliteration: thriambeuō) , fragrant with the knowledge of God.
This speaks of a procession that was the highest honor bestowed on a victorious Roman general. He triumphantly rode in a gilded chariot led by four majestic white stallions, as dazed prisoners were herded along, followed by soldiers, and the spoils of war. The procession moved through the streets, decorated and garlanded, amid cheering crowds.
Captives, often naked, beaten and bruised, destined for slavery or death, were dragged before silver and gold treasures. Huge paintings and 3-D floats on large carts told of the valiant conquest. The air was fragrant with the smell of oxen roasting on giants spits, and the scent of incense filled the air as the altars of every temple paid homage to the "gods." For Rome, it was the smell of victory. To the captives, it was a reminder of their certain death.
The apostle Paul reassures us that we are those who smell victory in the air. We serve the one true God and Jesus Christ is the universal conqueror. In 2017, the Resurrected King will continue to lead us in victory. This victory is not based on circumstances, situations or our skills, but his glorious provision. Colossians says:
Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. Colossians 2:15 (NKJV) I love the Message translation:
He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets.
Real life does not give "participation trophies." As we look to 2017, there are winners and losers. God is calling us to diligently pursue His call, to reach the lost at any cost. Every bump in the road is not a tragedy and every failure is not defeat.They are an inevitable consequence of living in this world dominated by the consequences of fallen man.
God is calling us to live
2017 with a holy urgency-
with purpose on purpose.
In 2017, let's pick it up and try again, trusting His grace to put the past behind us. After a divisive political season, I am still convinced our solution was not Hillary Clinton and is not Donald Trump; nor does it even rest in Washington, DC, but on our knees, before God, praying for His touch on our nation.
God is calling us to live 2017 with a holy urgency, to live 2017 with purpose ON PURPOSE.
There is a celebration coming and I so glad we smell the aroma of victory in obedience, not the scent of defeat because of trusting self, my own devices, going my own way, or doing my own thing. I pray you can hear the call to FOLLOW HARD after God in 2017.