The Good Book

As we come to the close of 2021, looking back on a year with all of its ups and downs, all of its craziness, anxiety, illness, etc.

And as we look to 2022 which is a blank page ready to be written…. I’d like to be bold and make some predictions:

*The Eagles will not win the super bowl.
*Pastor Josh will have another child.
*Our senior pastor will tell some bad jokes.
*There will be a suggestion to begin masking animals.
*Bagels will be missing one Sunday, causing mass confusion.
*People will arrive late to Sunday services :)
*New ways to confuse already confused teens will be advanced.
*Jesus returns on June 20 (the day before I’m forced to go on Medicare).
*There will be a snow forecast that empties the shelves at shop rite and it will result in exactly 1” of snow.

In case you were ever wondering if maybe I’m a prophet… this should put all of that to rest!
None of us know the future. That is completely in God's hands!

I was reading 2 Timothy the other day and in chapter 3 we read these words:

“You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!”

Are we living in the last days? Maybe… And maybe not, because none of us can know for sure. But the Lord has told us about signs to look for, and passages like the one above point that out. I believe we certainly could be living in the end days because many of these things that Paul mentions here in 2 Timothy now characterize a good number of people.

The title of this blog is “The Good Book." I simply want to remind us that come what may in 2022, you and I, as believers, have an anchor for our soul in the person of Jesus Christ, and a lamp unto our feet and a light for our path in the word of God.
The Bible is God's gift to us. It warns us, leads us, corrects us, guides us, and in the end, it blesses us, always.

Counting my time as youth pastor, I’ve been in ministry for some 40 years now and the Bible is as fresh and encouraging now as it was when I began. It has literally sustained me. The Word of God is “Living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword.“ It ministers to my heart like nothing else can. I’m saying all of this to remind us that until the Lord returns, he’s given us his Holy Spirit and the written Word to guide us and strengthen us. Try to read it daily (for some daily reading plan options, click HERE). Have a version that is easy to read. I use the New Living Translation in my reading (if you would like more information on the different translations available, click HERE). The Bible is timeless. We find words that challenge us, change us, bless us, warn us, and it truly is a lamp unto our feet in what may be darker times ahead. My pastor growing up always called it our “standard”, meaning the measure, or norm, for all things. Our world scoffs at any ultimate standard therefore men and women without God become rudderless and drift with the prevailing opinions. God has such better plans for his children! He has given us a standard, the Bible. And we know what he wants when we read his word.

May the year 2022 be for you and me the year of the Bible! Where we stand on his promises, on his truth, and on the unwavering word of the Lord.

Pete Nelson