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 Issue #66 Tue, 3 Jan 2006

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Female Number of posts : 2309
Age : 26
Real Name : Alyssa
Location : Eastern USA
Registration date : 2006-12-17

PostSubject: Issue #66 Tue, 3 Jan 2006   March 11th 2007, 22:54

ROPES OF SAND

Dear Youth,

Do you remember the date your calendar boasted on Sunday? Yes, that's right, it was January 1, 2006. New Years Day! I'm sure you all made many wonderful resolutions and set high goals to achieve in 2006, which is all very good, but I want you to think back for a moment to the very beginning of 2005. Did you carry out your resolutions during the year? Maybe some of you, by God's grace, were able to carry out many of your resolutions, but maybe some of you started out on your New Years projects full of energy and enthusiasm, but found that no matter how hard you tried you just couldn't carry out your resolutions.

I am sorry to say that I did not carry out many of my resolutions the whole year through. But why? Why was I unable to carry out my resolutions when they seemed so good and sincere? Maybe some of you still don't know the answer to that question yet. There are many adults, some even retired and near the end of their lives, who still don't know why we seem to always fail, why we can never keep our promises, and why it seems that we can never carry out our resolutions. The answer, young people, is really quite simple, even though it may have taken others a lifetime to find it out! "All the good resolutions we make in our own strength are as ropes of sand. But when we come to God in sincerity, and give ourselves to Him, He will strengthen us to stand against the wiles of the enemy. In the power of Jesus Christ, resist the enemy, and he will flee from you." (Manuscript Releases 18, p. 139) We may resolve to do many wonderful things, but if we try to carry these things out in our own strength we are doomed to fail. “Your resolutions may be good and sincere, but they will prove a failure unless you make God your strength and move forward with a firm determination of purpose” (Testimonies for the Church vol. 2, p. 262 ).

There may be some of you who are feeling wholly discouraged at your miserable failures. The beginning of a new year always draws us to think back over the past year, and in many cases we could have good reason to feel utterly hopeless and miserable. But, do not let yourself get disheartened over all your forfeited pledges and failures. "Your promises and resolutions are like ropes of sand. You cannot control your thoughts, your impulses, your affections. The knowledge of your broken promises and forfeited pledges weakens your confidence in your own sincerity, and causes you to feel that God cannot accept you; but you need not despair." (Steps to Christ, p. 48 ) There is surely One stronger who can help us and lift us up!

Jesus Himself, while a man on this earth, said: "I can of mine own self do nothing." (John 5:30) This is true also with us, we need not flounder around in our failures, we may look at them and learn from them, but we should not drown ourselves in them. Look to Jesus who can, and will, lift you higher. We, on our own, are nothing, but with Christ, we can achieve the impossible!

It is now time for a new beginning. God, in His great mercy, has given you this opportunity to start again on a clean slate. In His lovingkindness, Christ has given you another year to live for, what will you do with this time? "The new year has commenced, and with the commencement of this new year, you should dedicate yourselves to God. Now give yourself to Him, soul, body, and spirit, to do His will. Let all selfishness, your disobedience to your parents, all your faults, and besetting sins die with the old year. Begin this new year to the glory of God. Pray to Him, morning, noon, and night, to give you a meek and humble spirit, a mild temper, an affectionate disposition. Live as you never lived before. Begin this new year with new feelings, fresh desires, and a strong determination to glorify God." (Youth's Instructor, January 1, 1856)

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (1 Corinthians 5:17) As 2005 quickly disappears into history, let your old self, your old heart, desires, and affections pass with it. 2006 may be a new beginning for you, with a new heart and new desires!

One good resolution we could make this year, is to set aside more time to prayer and study. This is where we will find our safety and strength. This is where we will find the answers to besetting questions, and where we will gain divine strength to keep all our promises and resolutions. We are told: "Commence the year aright, by devoting yourself to God. Spend a portion of your time each day in praying to Him for strength, that you may resist evil, and every day overcome, until it will be easy praying, easy believing." (Youth's Instructor, January 1, 1856) The Bible tells us to: (1) "Pray without ceasing." (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and (2) "Study to show thyself approved unto God." (2 Timothy 2:15) It's one of my resolutions this year to take time out in the early morning hours to study with the Lord. I fully admit that it could only be by God's grace that I will be able to carry out this resolution the year through, but I know that He can and WILL help me! Young people, we must learn to rely FULLY upon Christ for strength, or we will never carry out any of our resolutions. In God, and God ALONE, you will find the strength to carry out your resolutions.

Young people, each passing day draws us nearer to the coming Christ. Will YOU be ready for Him? How many of the early Adventist pioneers would have thought that we'd still be here in 2006?! There are signs all around us that show the end is near. Young people, THERE IS NO TIME TO LOSE! We cannot afford to squander any more of the precious time we have been granted. We need to lay aside all earthly "treasures" and lay up for ourselves treasure in heaven! Put aside all those cherished sins, in comparison to eternity they are not worth it! Spend time with your Maker and King, lay your talents, unreserved, at His feet, and live your life for Him!

This new year may mark a complete turn-around in your life! It may be the happiest year of your life. This year, as you make all your sincere resolutions, bring Christ into the picture. Make His plan for your life, your plan. And this year, young people, don't let your promises be like ropes of sand, make them a stronghold, securely anchored in Christ's will. The rewards and results will astonish you!

--Stephanie Fox
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Issue #66 Tue, 3 Jan 2006
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