God bless you with joy, peace, health, happiness, fresh hope, and a lively enthusiasm for life. Where are you going this year? Are you going to travel the road of 2023 by yourself? Are you including your family, loved ones, or friends in your plans for this New Year? How does Jesus fit into your plans for the New Year? Will Jesus be your traveling companion in the good times and the not-so-good times? This is an opportune time to begin reading the Bible regularly. The Bible is your road map for 2023. God’s Word helps you when you get lost, feel abandoned, need advice, seek God’s wisdom, have a decision to make or need the strength of Jesus Christ, our Shepherd. The Bible contains all the necessary nutrients for a strong and healthy soul. So, take time for your soul.
Psalm 119:105 reads: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” When you get frustrated and lost on a trip, it is advisable to stop and ask for directions. Nowadays, you may ask Siri, Alexa, or even a real-life person at a gas station. Knowing where you are going and how to get there makes all the
difference for a pleasant and successful journey to your destination. In life, when you get lost and need help, it is important to ask God for directions. It is helpful to pray. Prayer is vital for living a full life with God. When you wake up each morning, ask God to guide you. Do not worry when you take a wrong turn, make a mistake, or commit a sin. God’s grace is more abundant than you can ever imagine. When you need forgiveness, Jesus Christ mercifully gives you a fresh start. If you find yourself in a wilderness of shame, darkness, and remorse, Jesus will hold you tight in his tender, forgiving, and loving embrace. Jesus will walk alongside you throughout this coming year and always. Be of good cheer, stand firm in the faith, and let go of your pride so God can take over your heart with his unconditional and merciful love!
The fog was very thick and dense the other day. Nevertheless, the fog lifted and the day filled with lots of sunlight. Life can be like a fog at times. The fog can roll in and take over your life. You may feel all alone in your suffering and with your problems. It can seem like the fog is so thick that not even your family or friends can slice through the fog to help alleviate your pain and suffering. What should you do? Should you panic or give up? No! Have patience. Hang in there. Give God time and permission to help you. You do not have to be stuck in the fog! Jesus will lift the fog, take over your life, and bring His light into your heart. There are no hopeless situations! Nothing is impossible for Jesus Christ.
The snowplows have been active already in Mason City. As I write this, another snowfall is expected. The plows do a great job. After they plow the road, it becomes clear and safe for driving. As you begin a New Year, think about snowplows. If you have carried with you some heavy burdens, some guilt, some remorse, and have been weighed down by problems, imagine a snow plow coming along and clearing away all of this from your life and giving you a fresh start. You can turn the page and start a new chapter in your life this New Year. Let any wreckage or debris from your past be cleared away. Jesus always gives us second chances, fresh starts, and a new vision for our lives. May 2023 be a year of new beginnings for you. We wish each of you a very blessed and joyous New Year of 2023!
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Dan Dahl