31 Dec The Last Hour (Jn 1:12) by Dr. Rich Reich
“But to those who did accept [Jesus] he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name.” ~ Jn 1:12 (full readings)
Rich’s Reflections: On this last day of the secular year, we can tie up loose ends and be able to say what Jesus said moments before His death: “It is finished” (Jn 19:30). Take a few moments to reflect back on the year 2012. Was it a good year or a bad year? The revolutionary in Jerusalem was having a bad year. He was arrested and sentenced to die by crucifixion. Then his bad year got even worse. He was whipped painfully and then had to carry a heavy crossbeam. He was crucified on his cross and the pain was unbearable. He couldn’t hold in his resentment, and began to scream insults (Mk 15:32) at the crucified Jesus, Who “happened” to be hanging next to him. Then, despite his pain and bitterness, he stopped thinking of himself and fixed his eyes on Jesus (Heb 3:1). He saw the royal dignity of Jesus in His suffering. He painfully pulled himself upright and defended Jesus publicly (Lk 23:40-41). Then, in a miraculous conversion, he uttered the final words of his year and his life: ” ‘Jesus, remember me when You enter upon Your reign.’ And Jesus replied, ‘I assure you this day you will be with Me in paradise’ ” (Lk 23:42-43). The worst year of his life in its final hour became his best year. Don’t give up on 2012 just because “it is the last hour” (1 Jn 2:18). Bring your frustrations and shattered hopes to Jesus, “the End” (Rv 22:13), for with Him, it is never too late.
* Dr. Rich Reich is the co-founder of the LIFE Group Devotions and the National LIFE Runners Team. He is married to Erica and lives in Satellite Beach, FL. Full bio.
Faith Challenge: Spend some time today reflecting on the year 2012 and lift up any frustrations and shattered hopes to Jesus.
Feast Day: St. Sylvester saw an end to the persecution of Christianity as a religion and used his freedom to build churches to honor Almighty God.
Faith Quote: “Look not back on yesterday; so full of failure and regret; look ahead and seek God’s way–all sin confessed you must forget.” ~ Dennis DeHaan