12/26/2013 by BY MARK MUNSON
Well, it?s the day after Christmas and I hope that the jolly old fat man in the red suit, with the white whiskers brought you everything you were wishing for. In the old days it was a new doll for Susie, a pair of Roy Rogers six shooters for Tommy, perhaps a new fishing rod for Dad, and a new ?fur? coat for Mom. But for today?s kids, it?s a new lap-top computer for college, an X-Box player with a few new games to go with it, and for Dad, a new high powered Lithion-ion drill and impact driver combo (a what?), and for Mom, well, she always desires a new, shiny, expensive diamond bracelet that she can show off to the ?girls?. Times have sure changed haven?t they?
?? But in a matter of a few short days, year 2013 will be over with and a brand new year called ?2014? will be upon us. Think of it as a new highway, Highway 2014. It?s a highway that none of us have been down before. We don?t know where it?s going to take us nor how smooth or rough the road will be. I don?t know when the last time was that?you were headed for Bryan-College Station, going south on I-45, and you took the Normangee exit, traveling down what?s called the ?OSR Road?,?but that ?OSR? stands for ?Old Stagecoach Road?, and believe me folks, the stagecoach ruts are still in the road! The last time I traveled that road, which was several years ago, I think I hit every rut there was to hit! No doubt about it! For some of you, Highway 2014 may be kind of rough. For others, it will be relatively smooth. But whatever situation or circumstance we will?face on this Highway, what will mater the most is not ?what? we face, but ?how? we will face it. Part of the Highway will be filled with laughter and good times, and part of it will be filled with heart-ache and tears. But it?s the ?how? that I want to concentrate on. And the ?how? depends upon ?whom? you have within you. When Paul wrote to the church at Colossae about the mystery of God that had been?hidden from all generations?that was now about to be?revealed to all?who believed in Christ,?he said, ?God wanted to make known to those among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.? (Colossians 1:27) In his letter to the?Philippians, he put it another way, ?For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.? In other words, it takes Christ living His life in you and through you to really know what it means to live (Philippians 1:21).?What did Jesus promise in John 10:10? He said, ?The thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy, but I have come that they (you) might have life, and have it more abundantly.?
?? We have a real enemy who attacks us on a daily basis. His name is the Devil. His only goal is to destroy us in whatever way he can. But if you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then you have a counter-attacker who lives within you, who will never leave you, and who can defeat the devil every time he knocks on our door! John put it this way in 1 John 4:4, ?Greater is He that is in you, that he that is in the world!? That?s why Paul could say in Philippians 4:13, ?I can to all things through Christ who strengthens me,? and in Philippians 4:19, ?But my God shall supply all (not just some, but all) your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.? Now, folks, all of this is a pretty good piece of news if you ask me for our traveling directions down Highway 2014. Look at it this way. Years ago there was a dear old saintly lady who always seemed to be on top of things and in a good spirit no matter what came her direction. And one day?a church member?who seemed to always be struggling in her life, asked?this dear saint the?secret of her ability. ?How is it that every time trouble comes your way, you always come through without a hint of despair?? The old saint looked at her questioner with a smile on her face and said, ?It?s simple, my dear. You see, every time the devil knocks on my door, I send Jesus to answer it.? And that is exactly how you and I are going to make it?down this new Highway, Highway 2014. If you have never invited Jesus Christ into your heart, won?t you do so today, because if He is not there, you?re liable to stay in those old ruts.