Gate of Space-Time in 2023 ~Pastor Bernie Chung
There are three entrances at our church, comprised of: two wooden doors and one iron gate. We need to pass through one of them to enter the church. Likewise, we need to pass through the door of our own home to enter our cozy and comfortable abode. Also at this time we are likely thinking of the parable of the gates that the Lord Jesus tells in Chapter 7 of Matthew, saying that the gate that leads to eternal life is narrow, but the gate that leads to destruction is wide. Let's continue to imagine a shapeless door, a passageway that is not a physical structure, but it represents a space-time transition. As we pass through the first week of 2023, we are transitioning into a new realm of opportunities.
God breathes life into us and gives each of us different calling and mission in life. Abiding in God’s will require us to trust God when we step into unknown territories. When we encounter such a door, we need not be afraid to enter because God provides opportunity for us to experience his presence. All we need is to trust and obey God. The Lord says in Jeremiah 29:10-11 (NIV): “This is what the Lord says: ‘When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
In the new year, let us be mindful of the doors of opportunity that God has set before us. It is also important to keep in mind that when God leads us into uncharted territory, what we experience may not be what we’ve expected and deserved. After all, God’s plans for his children are thoughtfully full of peace and prosperity, not of harm and disaster. Even though we may encounter temporary disasters and setbacks, ultimately God will replace them with eternal peace. God’s purpose is to give his children hope and a future. At the time of Jeremiah, God’s people were rebellious and abandoned God. Through the kingdoms of Assyria and Babylon, God drove the Israelites out of the Promised Land. Yet our merciful God promised them the “hope” of returning to the land from which they were taken captive for seventy years.
It is true that God has promised his people “hope” and a future, but this does not mean that we do not need to pray or call on him with faith. On the contrary, it is because of this "hope" that we must seek God's will in prayer. We can get closer to God by obeying him and professing our ignorance. Brothers and sisters, since God gives us life to enter the gate of time and space in 2023, we must “act justly and love mercy and walk humbly with God” ( Micah 6:8b). May the Lord lead us in the path of righteousness, and let’s not miss the opportunity to seek him wholeheartedly. May we all receive the experience of having the one and only important mindset of placing our hope and future in him. Amen!