“You have not traveled this way before!” Joshua 3:4

How solemn is the reflection that each traveler to Zion is commencing a new and untrodden path! New events in his history will transpire:

  • new scenes in the panorama of life will unfold,
  • new phases of character will develop,
  • new temptations will assail,
  • new duties will devolve,
  • new trials will be experienced,
  • new sorrows will be felt,
  • new friendships will be formed, and
  • new mercies will be bestowed.

How truly may it be said of the pilgrim journeying through the wilderness to his eternal home, as he stands upon the threshold of this untried period of his existence, pondering the unknown and uncertain future:

“You have not traveled this way before!”

If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus, you will enter upon a new stage of your journey by a renewed surrender of yourself to the Lord. You will make the cross the starting-point of a fresh setting-out in the Heavenly race. Oh, to begin the year with a broken heart for sin, beneath the cross of Immanuel and looking through that cross to the heart of a loving, forgiving Father!

Do not be anxious about the future–all that future God has provided for:

“All my times are in Your hands.”  (Ps 31:15)
“Casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Pet 5:7)
“Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain you.” (Ps 55:22)

Let it be a year of more spiritual advance:

“Speak to the children of Israel that they go forward.” (Ex 14:15)  

  • Forward in the path of duty;
  • forward in the path of suffering;
  • forward in the path of conflict;
  • forward in the path of labor; and
  • forward in the path to eternal rest and glory!

Soon will that rest be reached, and that glory appear! This new year may be the jubilee year of your soul–the year of your release. Oh spirit-stirring, ecstatic thought–this year I may be in Heaven!

Octavius Winslow (1808 – 1878) was a prominent 19th-century evangelical preacher in England and America. Known as “The Pilgrim’s Companion,” he was Baptist minister until 1870 when he was ordained an Anglican deacon and priest.  He was a contemporary of Charles Spurgeon and J. C. Ryle and a prolific writer. His Christ-centered, richly devotional writings offer inspiration and encouragement.

Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith... Heb 12:1-2

Words of Wisdom from the Cloud of Witnesses: The Cloud of Witnesses is a reference to Christians in Heaven who have run their races and are now with the Lord. Their words of wisdom, encouragement, hope, and joy live on and inspire us to know Jesus better, to love Him more, and to run our race to the finish line. Their words strengthen our souls, equip our minds, encourage our hearts, and empower us to stand firm in our faith and be motivated, ready, and willing to share the hope we have in Jesus.

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Do not be anxious about anything.  (Phil 4:6)

In this time of confusion and uncertainty because of the COVID-19 pandemic,  we must rightly remember who is in control.  Our God is sovereign over all things, including COVID-19.  As Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) once said, “The sovereignty of God is a soft pillow on which weary people lay their heads.” 

Remember also God’s gracious promise, and that it is true and He is faithful to keep it:  Hebrews 13:5 …”I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”  The next verse remind us of the power that comes in trusting God and how we can live:  Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man [or COVID-19] shall do to me.

God loves us, and in Christ we find confidence and calm in times of uncertainty and trouble.  When we trust in God, fear is replaced with faith, stress is replaced with strength, anxiety is gone and hope abounds, problems become opportunities, and we are able to receive the blessings God has for us in the midst of difficult circumstances. Turn to Jesus. He will lead you to the still waters and give rest for your troubled soul.  

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…Hebrews 6:19

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Be Ready Always...

to give a reason for the Hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15).  When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace.

When leaving a tract, always be diligent to pray about the short gospel message. Pray that it be found by someone who is in need of Jesus’ saving grace, and pray that the person will have a tender heart and open ears to receive the gift Jesus desires to give them.  

By the power of the Holy Spirit, even a small tract can help in turning a broken sinner from darkness to light.

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