we begin to pull the curtain over 2017, and continue the countdown hoping for a
safe touchdown into 2018, we need to ask ourselves how we have managed to get
thus far if it had not been for God’s love and mercy which endures forever. We
cannot boast of having accomplished anything out of our own strength or effort
to find ourselves at the threshold of another new year. It is by His grace alone,
not because of any goodness of our own.
We thank God that the devil has not wrong-footed us in the course of 2017. Because of God’s love and protection we are alive, ready and willing to put all our mistakes, errors and bad experiences behind us; to make a clean sweep of our past faults and open a new page to a life lived with Jesus. God is merciful; “He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities [sins].” (Psalm 103:10) “Their sins and lawless acts I [God] will remember no more.” (Hebrews 10:17)
How faithful have we been in accomplishing God’s purpose for our lives on earth? Can we claim we know God personally and intimately? Have we been able to nurture a relationship with him as our primary purpose on earth? Are we satisfied with the strides made with the Lord on our earthy journey? Have we run the race like we should? A host of questions will invade our spirits as we take inventory of what happened in our lives these past twelve months. God never promised we would go through this life without facing trials and temptations, hurdles and mountains, nor did He say we will live a trouble-free existence in our bid to live right. What He has promised on the contrary, is that He will never leave us nor forsake us on the way, so that our circumstances do not overwhelm and drown us. We should rather seek to mould our characters to fall in line with God’s word and prepare ourselves for our heavenly abode, where all will be bliss.
It is important that as we write our personal annual reports that we sincerely plot the way we have trodden; confessing where we have fallen short and then move ahead. As day by day we each strive to achieve the goals God has set before us, may we endeavour to be perfect beings not just mere improvements of ourselves. Like cars need regular servicing and maintenance to assess their viability and roadworthiness, may our regular check-ups with the Word, our spiritual gauge, point us to where we ought to make amends and reboot. For “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (Proverbs 14:12)
Occasional servicing denotes we are wise. We need to be on the alert because the so-called lion is prowling around seeking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8) ‘With Christ in the vessel however, we will smile at the storm.’ Do not despise small beginnings. Our relationship with Christ should be nurtured daily--with the Word and through prayer – like a tree that is planted by the stream of water, in order to flourish and prosper. (Psalm 1:3) Separation, aloofness from God and His Word leads to spiritual stagnation and drought. We are spiritual beings that need spiritual food and water to thrive just as plants need sunlight and water.
We have journeyed through this world with relevance and purpose. We are no accidents, the reason why we must prepare our exits. How we live and who we confess determines that, for there are only two ways: the way to eternal life and the way to everlasting damnation. Where we have faltered and brought shame to the faith, we need to retract, exert more energy and affirm our faith as children of God “not born of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (John 1:13)
If in the course of this year you have not been fellowshipping with God through Jesus, His Son, the time is now or else you are threading on dangerous sinking sand. You need to stand on God’s promises which never fail. He is the Bread and the Water of life, our Good Shepherd and the Light of the world to lighten our darkness. He is the Resurrection and the Life---all you need in life to make it through this existence.
Stand on His word and see the glory of the Lord manifest itself under your very eyes. Stop flirting with the devil whose mission is clear: “to kill, steal and destroy.” (John 10:10) He is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44) He has no noble intentions for you and me. Resist him! Cease to fall prey to his snares. Open your eyes and look to Jesus who is the Author and Finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2)
Weigh yourself in the scale of God’s righteousness; lay off all the excess baggage that you cannot take with you to heaven. The long-promised Saviour who came to save humanity from sin is here! – the Lord Jesus. You must inherit the kingdom because the earth has no permanent value because it will pass away. All things will pass away, but the word of God – ‘Kalimatu Allah – stands and lives forever. (Isaiah 40:8)
Stick with the good news that salvation is in none other than in Christ Jesus. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) He gave His life on the cross for our salvation so that we may live eternally.
In 2018, place your hope in the Light of the world, to lighten your darkness!