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'Happy New Year' - Not!

Phil Robertson | Stephen Phinney

There's a lot to celebrate, but I look at things a little differently.


Throughout 2022, I have been a writer on a secular author platform called Substack, which is where I met Phil Robertson. As it turns out, this venue has become our most read outlet of all the social media platforms we post. While most Christan portals dismiss strong opinionate articles, Substack does the opposite.

After being connected to Phil's channel, I began to see a man of God that is unwavering with the Bible, and his personal walk in Christ. Then after getting to know him, I now consider his writings not only authentic but most likely one of the best writer feeds online. Therefore, it is my honor to introduce him to you through his first posted article through the IM Author's Blog.

Well, the new year is upon us again. The older I get, the more frequently they seem to appear. Some of you know what I’m talking about.

The New Testament doesn’t mention special holidays at all. Every day is a time to celebrate the Lord’s mercy and grace. In the kingdom of God, every day is a holiday. But since the world is looking at the coming of 2023 as a special time, we’ll use this time to make a bigger point.

The Old Testament was full of regulations for how to celebrate special holidays. The Passover and other feasts were regulated by the Law of Moses with very specific instructions on how to do it.

The Jubilee was one of those special days that came along every 50 years. It was a year of forgiven debts. Ancestral Lands sold out of financial necessity were returned to the family. Any Israelite who had sold himself into indentured servitude was set free. Jubilee was the day when God’s true nature as a liberating God was made evident. Jubilee is who God is.

So, when Jesus attended the synagogue in Nazareth, he opened the book of Isaiah and began to expound on Jubilee:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” —Luke 4:18-19

As soon as he finished reading, he rolled up the scroll, looked at the teachers of the law and the Pharisees, and said, “Today, this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” In other words, he might have said, “This passage in Isaiah is about me! I am the Jubilee!”

Jubilee would no longer be a date on the calendar, but a person instead. Jesus himself is the year of Jubilee now. Through him, the poor would hear good news, those imprisoned by sin would be set free, and those oppressed would escape their bondage

January 1 is just another day to me. By the time the ball drops in Times Square, I’ll be several hours into a deep sleep. But the year of our Lord’s favor, the time that it became apparent to humanity that the Almighty would set me and the rest of mankind free from the ravages of sin and condemnation, now that’s something worth celebrating. I have made it my practice to do that every day.

I would wish you a Happy New Year, but I’d rather tell you “Happy year of the Lord’s favor! Happy Jubilee!” If you don’t know the one who sets men and women free from their addictions to sin and self-centeredness, you should get to know him. He’s the best friend I’ve ever had.

© 2022 Phil Robertson | Dr. Stephen Phinney

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