Each year I look forward to the New Year’s message. It is great to hear how the Lord is speaking to the whole church. It has often been my experience, that the same scripture, principle or theme for the year would be given by God to a number of Pastors I follow, which to me just confirms what God is saying. During Praise & Worship last week God sent me to Chapter 20 verse 16 for 2016. I could not wait to sit down and find this scripture; that is before realizing that there were well over 20 books in the bible with a Chapter 20 and verse 16. However, there are two principles I use when studying scripture; Jesus in the book of John & First Mention. Whenever I want to know something more about Jesus I go to the Gospel to John, this Gospel speaks to the Divine Nature of Jesus. First Mention is when you find a topic first mentioned in the bible, you’ll find God’s original meaning/definition of that topic. So using these principles, I focused on John and Genesis 20:16……are you following yet?
John 20:16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher).
When I read this I was excited, because I immediately remembered this story. The verse highlights a moment when Mary was in deep despair, after all Jesus had just died and now it seems someone has come in and stolen His body from the grave. Angels were on the scene and had just started a conversation with her, but she could not focus with so many distractions demanding her attention. Jesus was even talking to Mary, attempting to give her peace, but she was so lost in her current circumstances, she had no idea the Lord was talking. “Mary,” a voice pierced thru the chaos and all of the noise, now she was finally able to clearly hear and discern the source of this dynamic voice. It was Jesus. Immediately, everything changed, the Prince of Peace calmed all of Mary’s anxiety and pain, giving her a completely new perspective on her circumstances. Everything that Jesus taught her had now become clear. Just like Mary, in 2016 we will be able to hear Jesus thru all of the chaos in our own lives. We will discern His guidance and direction like we’ve never experienced before. Where we’ve been hesitant to make major decisions, in 2016 our path will be made plain. Major project milestones that needed to be met in 2015, the Lord will make our next steps clear and He will complete what was started. Where we’ve been afraid to make moves; Jesus will make it Clear in the New Year…… (you know you have to make it rhyme ;). Get ready for clarity in 2016.
Jesus will be our JEHOVA-RAAH (Our Shepard who tenderly leads us, Loves us and will keep us safe)
Gen 20:16 Then to Sarah he said, “Behold, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver; indeed this vindicates you before all who are with you and before everybody.”
Genesis tells the story of one of the times Abraham, in fear lied to protect himself while leaving his family at risk (Abimelech, the King of Gerar, could have easily made Sarah one of his wives and took her away from Abraham). Read the story, he did this twice, but don’t get is twisted Abraham is still the Father of our Faith (Thank Goodbess receiving Jesus’ righteousness does not depend on our actions). Even though Abraham made a poor decision, God stepped in to protect Sarah from any harm, then He turned around to vindicate and exceedingly bless them both. The word vindicate depicts a coverings or a veiling; I’d like to think of it as our own suit of armor…..can you say a robe of righteousness.
Have you made a bad choice? One that put your entire family at risk? Maybe you are living out the ramifications of those choices. Guess what? God knew us while we were still in our mother’s womb. So He knows every thought we think and every choice we make well before we’ve ever considered it. He will protect us from harm and in 2016 He will vindicate us!! That thing you’ve been accused of, Jesus is your lawyer and will argue your case. He will ultimately turn the tables on your accuser. He will cause those seeking you harm, to restore all that was lost and even more. You see Abimelech, after Abraham lied to him and put his family in jeopardy, gave Abraham a thousand pieces of silver. Now how much that is worth in today’s dollars has been estimated by different sources to be anywhere from $500 to $200,000. Regardless, Abraham was blessed immensely by the very one that he feared would destroy his family. God will use your enemies to bless you; and in 2016 we will begin to see this happen in our lives.
Jesus will be our JEHOVAH-NISSI (Our Banner, a Banner of Love and Protection).
Recap: While there are so many powerful chapter 20 verse 16’s in the bible. I sense the Lord leading many of us to the Book of John and Genesis, preparing us for the New Year. 2016 will be a year of Discernment & Vindication resulting in tangible blessings. Next year we will see and experience the “Lord our Shepherd” as depicted in Psalm 23. I don’t know about you but I’m excited for the 2016!!!