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January 5, 2017, 3:17 PM

Happy New Year; What does that mean? by Pastor John Koonce


So another year is upon us. 2017 is here. 2016 is gone. Many have made their new year's resolutions and sincerely are attempting to make a change. Most forget the promise and live as they always have, however, some actually go a few months or so before they give up. Why is this? Well I am no expert on human psycology, but I do have a limited knowlege of human nature having Pastored for 23 years and trained under the very best for 14 years prior to that.

Jeremiah asks in Jer. 13 23b "Can a leopard change his spots?' Well, no. Because they are part of his makeup. They help us identify him as a leopard. True we could spray paint him a different color, but he would still be a leopard.

We have a kitten/cat. He is a wild thing. He is a lion in the living room. He will attack anything that moves, and he will bite. Not hard, but he bites. He is revealing his true nature. My son found him up in under our car, shivering with fear. he was so tiny and momma was nowhere to be found. I saw her a few  days later and she is a wild outdoor cat. I have no idea how many generations of cats   that have passed when someone threw their kitty ourside to fend for himself, but we have one of the offspring. He's a cute cat. But he's a cat. He will let us pet him for awhile but he will tire of it and will start to fight. I can't make him act like a dog because he is a cat. He may resolve to do better but he can't because he is a cat.

We are unable to change ourselves. I don't mean to imply that we can't make changes in our behavior because it has happened to many times. But it takes practice and discipline and training etc. 

Our nature is that of a sinner. David, the 2nd King of ancient Israel who was called a man after God's own heart though he sinned horrible sin, was called this by God because he sought after the Lord with all his heart. This David said, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity and in sin did my mother concieve me." Psalm 51:5. He recognized that any good in him was because of God. If he was called good it was because God was working in his life. But by his own nature he was a sinner.

That's what we are. Except we acknowledge and believe the sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary and understand that lasting change only comes through Him, we can't truly make the real changes in our lives' that enable us to be that person we want to be.

It is good to want to make changes. It's good not to be satisfied  with status quo. It may not be such a bad idea to make resolutions if we understand what they truly are. But change comes within. Change starts in the heart, a heart that yearns for truth, for God. He knows we can't do it alone. That's why Jesus came. The Bible says that He came to seek and to save that which was lost. Meaning you and me. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. That's our nature. His nature is to remold and make us in the image of His dear son, Christ Jesus the righteous.

In His Service.

Pastor John Koonce

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