We have been blessed to make it through 2019 and to enter into a new decade… 2020. Yet, many of us have come into this new year with lost hope and lost momentum. The thrill is gone! Your get up and go…has gotten up and went!
But, please, don’t lose heart! I want to encourage you…Now is not the time to give up. Now is not the time to throw in the towel.
Now is the time to dig in deep and hold on to what you have. In fact, now is the time to gather up the fragments of your life and let God make the most of what you have left. God can take your fragments and turn them into something spectacularly beautiful.
You see, the Devil wants us to live in discouragement and depression, because we become immobile when we are in a negative mindset. This is his goal and his intentions for us as Christians. In that state of mind, we are no threat at all for him, because, after all…negativity is his stomping ground…it’s his TURF.
Our God, on the other hand is a God of love. He’s a God of hope. He’s a God of peace. He’s a God of Joy….
He is the POTTER and he wants to put you back together again.
So, let’s look at this issue from 4 different angles of our lives:
- As Christians- When most people are compromising values and the standards of the Word, we must ask ourselves, what is our stance? After all, it IS the WORD OF GOD that gives us a standard to live by. It is the WORD OF GOD that sustains us and gives us the wisdom that we need to make it in this cruel and sinful world. So, are we going to let go of what “Thus saith the Lord” to fit in with the majority OR are we going to let the WORD OF GOD rest, rule, and abide in our hearts and in our lives? 2 Corinthians 13:14 says, “Now may the grace of God, the love of Jesus, and the sweet communion of the Holy Spirit, rest, rule, and abide now, henceforth and forevermore.
- As African Americans- Are we going to forget from whence we have come? Are we going to ignore the sacrifices that were made in order for us to be treated with dignity and have equal opportunities to vote, get jobs, and get an education OR are we going to share our history with our youngest family members, encouraging them to become their best selves and to live a life that they and their families can be proud of for years to come.
- As a Family- Are we going to let the life and legacy of our parents and grandparents become nothing but a memory? This would mean, not only losing our loved ones, but also their values, commitment, skills, gifts, and talents that helped us survive as a family… even with very little money and material possessions. On the other hand, will we hold on to what we were taught and preserve the legacy and family values as best as we can?
- As an Individual Person- Are we going to allow the disappointments and setbacks that we have had in the past to dictate our future as if we have no hope? OR Are we going to take a step back, allow the Lord to lead us as we establish a new vision and set new goals for where we are in life right now?
It’s not too late. Preserve what is left. Don’t allow all to be lost. Life is all about choices.
The truth is, that for many of us, the baton is in our hands now. We are the ones that are still here to keep things moving forward in our families, in our churches, in our society; and, needless to say, we are certainly the only ones that can take personal responsibility to do what needs to be done for ourselves. So, here’s the sobering truth. If we drop the ball now, the consequences will be catastrophic!
Just think of those who fought for our Civil Rights as African Americans…and consider, what if….what if they had decided to give up instead? Where would we be right now? What kind of life would we be living now?
We need to take a hard look at the path that was paved before us and ask ourselves, it is worth anything to us? Are we willing to throw it all away now? And if we do consider throwing it all away, what effect will this have on those who are following us now and those who will come after us? You see, although Jesus is coming soon, that doesn’t give us the license to assume that nothing matters anymore. We don’t know when that day will be, and he has told us in his word to “occupy until he comes!” (Luke 19:13)
We must remember that this sinful world is not our home. All that we are dealing with down here should make us long to go to heaven all the more. Yet, while we ARE here, God says, we are the LIGHT of the WORLD! No matter what we feel like. The Word says, that “you shall know the truth and the TRUTH will set you free.” (John 8:32) The truth of God’s Word will set us free from that negative mindset and any other heavy weight that is pulling us down and
holding us back from God’s best. Hebrews 12: 1 says, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside EVERY weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”
So, whatever you have left…don’t just leave it out there in the dust. Treasure it…go and gather it up… every bit that you can and give it to God…because there is VALUE in your fragments. Things are not always what they seem. Looks can be deceiving! So, don’t underestimate the value of the fragments! You see, as long as there are fragments, then all is NOT lost!
Do you remember Ruth? She gathered the fragments from those who were gleaning in the fields. Those leftovers proved to be very valuable. They sustained Ruth’s life and the life of her mother in law, Naomi. It even led her to an even bigger blessing than she could ever have dreamed!
Do you remember the widow of Zarepheth? She just had a handful of flour and a little olive oil. She didn’t see the value of that flour and oil past the current day. She didn’t realize that when she gave it to the Lord, it would truly be stretched beyond her wildest dreams. It was stretched far enough to save her life, the life of her son, and enough to share with the prophet, Elijah, who brought hope back into her life.
Do you remember the little boy who only had 5 barley loaves and two small fish…just enough for his day’s lunch? What was that, for over 5,000 men, plus women and children? It wasn’t even a drop in the bucket…crazy to even think on. Yet, when it was given to Jesus, a miracle took place. God is STILL in the miracle working business…even when you DON’T have 2 nickels to rub together…especially then!
I find myself saying this all the time now, but, little becomes much when you place it, in the Master’s hands. God can bless your fragments. Just be faithful to him and give him what you have.
After all, God demonstrated this very principle. After we sinned, Jesus didn’t just toss US aside or throw US away. As the popular song, “Worth” explains so well, “He thought we were worth saving, so he came and changed our lives. He thought we were worth keeping; so, he cleaned us up inside. He thought we were to die for, so he sacrificed his life…so we could be free”…to go and gather up our fragments and live a victorious life in him!