Pastor Brian K. Brown, St. Mark M.B. Church
– Exodus 13:17-20
While we didn’t meet in the traditional way for ‘Watch Night’ Pastor Brown did give us a message entitled ‘Starting Over’ with the text coming from Exodus 13:17-20 and on the first Sunday of January he continued to preach on this subject from the same text. On Watch Night we were given five questions to ask ourselves concerning starting over: 1. How’s your faith? Faith is the driving factor in our starting over. We must be willing to be led by faith. 2. How’s your fitness? Fitness will drive our ability to fight the challenges we will face. 3. Who are you following? Those who lead you into a personal relationship with Christ or those who would lead you away. 4. Where is your family? We cannot have victory without individuals connected to support us. We cannot fight alone. 5. What is your foundation? The foundation is the support that our start over is built upon. A firm foundation provides stability.
Like Israel in the text, we have been met with a year pitted with strains, stresses, sickness and sorrow that has flooded our lives. But through it all the Lord gave us a portal to go through as he did with them. This new year gives us possibilities of a better year and new hope but still obstacles and challenges are possible. God joins us in 2021 and will show his favor in our lives.
Continuing on the first Sunday we were asked: With starting over, what challenges will we experience? Pastor Brown suggested four possibilities. 1. It can be a struggle from people who don’t want it. Some may seem to be with you, but they aren’t. Behind the scenes, they will try to stop your forward progress. In the text Pharaoh had finally allowed the Israelites to leave but after they left, he changed his mind and wanted them to return. 2. It can be stressful in the process of trying to start over. It may seem to not go the way we want it. God may not take us the easy way but have us go the long way because it is the best way. We want everything we want but are not willing to let God show and help us through a process that may not be easy. 3. It could be saddened because of people who won’t make it. Are we looking back and remembering those who died? It’s hard to go forward when we’re holding on to those who didn’t make it. 4. It can be scary on the pathway to starting over. There will be things in 2021 that will scare us, but God says be not dismayed by what we see, we will get to where God wants us to be. We are like the Israelites asking how long until we get to the promise land. The challenge for us is to look not with the eye of the natural but with the eye of faith. Remember we’re not starting over alone. God who has been with us continually is still with us.
May God continue to bless and keep you. We pray that you will join our live streaming service on YouTube @ St Mark MBC each Sunday @ 10:20 and bible study on Wednesdays @ 7:00 p.m.