James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness nor shadow of turning.
As we approach the New Year, we’re back to making New Year’s resolutions … but this year is a bit different, since it's not only a New Year but a New Decade! During the past ten years we’ve seen such radical changes in our society; the definition of marriage, millennia-old norms of gender identity, bath and locker-room privacy, have all been affected by court decisions as a sea change in social mores has swept through the western world. People of Biblical faith are witnessing the fulfillment of Isaiah's warning, "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!" [Isaiah 5:20]
Societal changes are also influencing the body of believers as numerous controversies and divisions in churches are challenging leaders and laypeople alike. This is not a negative thing according to the Apostle Paul. He addressed the carnal church in Corinth where factions had developed, saying, "I hear that there are divisions among you … for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized." [1 Cor. 11:18-19]
Those who truly know the Lord and abide in His Word are all the more easily distinguished in today's social and moral climate. Since God's definitions and standards do not vary as human conventions or opinions do -- even when "science" is used to support the new claims, faithful believers will be identified for better or worse. We'll be afforded distinct opportunities to represent our God who is "the same, yesterday, today, and forever."
While the world makes its resolutions to be more fit, financially independent, or cosmically conscious, we can resolve to make this year, this decade, one in which we continue to set apart, representing the truth and love of our Heavenly Father.
As we enter into 2020, may we be the ones that stand out as true believers. Let's resolve to make this year and this decade -- one that our faith is genuinely recognized! May His love, joy, and peace be manifest in our lives for His glory as a witness to the world that so desperately needs Him!