The first Sunday of Epiphany: January 14, 2024

Holy Trinity Church – Tom Mount

 

Scripture – Daniel 9:16-19

Introduction

  1. Last week, we started with prayer of Daniel. If we don’t have that kind of reverence, humility and desperation, things will not improve. We considered some of the major challenges confronting us internationally and domestically.
  2. Today, we will recap a few points, wrap up our reflections on 2023, then consider a few things as we look ahead to 2024.

Review: A look back on developments in 2023

The world

  • Challenges on the international front: Iran, No Korea, China, Ukraine, Israel.
  • Challenges on the domestic front: significant economic problems, political divisiveness, cultural disintegration, sanctioned lawlessness.
  • Challenges in Chico: CUSD policies to disenfranchise parents and sexualize kids.

A look back on the Church and our personal walks with God

The Church of Christ

  • Negative trends: Biblical infidelity (UK UMC), personality cult, leadership failures, decline in numbers and influence in West.
  • Positive trends: Growth in non-Western world, some recent signs of life in West.
  • The Lord is “sifting,” “pruning,” “disciplining,” “refining,” “judging” his Church (e.g., Lk 22:31; John 15:2; Rev 3:19; 1 Peter 1:7; 4:17).

Your personal walk with God

  • For some, 2023 was a very challenging year. Has the Lord used your hardships to refine your character and priorities?
    • Where were you with the Lord 12 months ago? Where are you now?
    • What areas have you grown in? What areas do you still need to grow in?
    • What sins are keeping you from becoming more Christlike?
  • Talk to God (1 Sam 3:10).
  • This is no time for “business as usual!”

A look ahead to 2024

The World

  • How likely is a substantial change in the Ukraine war, Israeli war and the American culture wars apart from God’s sovereign intervention?
  • What we can do to cooperate with God’s purposes: live godly lives, pray continuously, get informed, vote, speak out for truth, run for office if called
  • Parents: be extra vigilant in protecting your kids!

The Church of Christ

  • The world will continue to persecute Christians both abroad and at home.
  • The Holy Spirit will continue to move where He is welcomed. A good place to start is with your own heart, your family, HTCs weekly prayer meetings or other group
  • At Holy Trinity Church, we will continue to seek to be a faithful, obedient, worshiping community of Christ followers that helps all of us grow.

Your personal journey

  • #1: Spend quality time each day with the Lord.
  • #2: Take the next step in prioritizing him in your schedule (men’s group, women’s group, prayer group, ministry volunteer, etc.).