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Looking Back; Looking Forward; Looking Up

“But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren” (Luke 22:32, ESV)

The beginning and ending of our orbit around the Sun each year is somewhat arbitrary. You have to pick a point where to begin, and where to end. Our calendar year ends on 31 December and begins on 1 January, both dates occurring this week. The US tax year is calculated with those dates in mind, so I will begin the process of compiling records for tax filing (lodgement) for the US. I get to file two sets of tax returns, as the Australia tax year is 1 July to 30 June. Both sets of returns require a time of review and reflection, a sort of financial account of victories and failures in budgeting, saving, stewardship, and of God’s faithfulness in caring for us.

Part of the habit of making New Year’s resolutions is the reflection on the previous year’s failings. Sometimes our failings are spectacular, even down-right devastating. And one wonders why the Lord has continued to have any favourable dealings with us.

You certainly have to wonder that in reflection on the passage quoted above. Peter will fail Christ Jesus spectacularly. Yet Christ let Peter know that He is interceding for Him. Our Lord Jesus Christ, in His role as our Great High Priest, makes continual intercession for us. His prayers are always effective, always accomplishing His intended purpose.

If you have failed (even non-spectacularly) this past year, know this: if you are in Christ, He is continually interceding for you. He keeps you, He empowers you, He works mightily to conform you to Himself in His praying for you. Know this: as He makes you more and more like Himself, you kept by Him against the world, the flesh, and the devil. The Scottish minister Robert Murray M’Cheyne said of this intercession: “If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me.”

Peter would not fall away from the faith because Jesus had interceded for him. What an amazing thing! And it is even more amazing to consider that He prays for each and every Christian alive today. If you are a Christian, Jesus is praying for you. He is praying that your faith will not fail, no matter how far you fall. (from Ligonier.org)

This coming year, remember, Christ is praying for those who are His. Not just now and again, we might do for another, but His is a continual intercession for you before the Throne of Grace of His Father, Who delights in Him, by the empowerment of His Holy Spirit. He prays you.

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