I want to wish everyone a happy New Year and God’s blessings! Regardless of our age, God is blessing us with one more year in our lives to be with our loved ones and a chance to bring more fruit for His Kingdom.
The Apostle Paul, has said the following: “I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified” (1 Cor. 9:26-27). Christians should live a focused life and be goal oriented in their deeds and thoughts. Peter tells us to “gird up the loins of your mind” (1 Peter 1:13). That is a suggestion to not slack off.
The proverb about the talents illustrates Jesus’ stand towards lazy Christianity. We need to be actively working on our spiritual growth. We also need to be engaged in the use of our God given talents for His glory. Our talents can be our families and children. What is your situation in this area? How much do you fast, pray and read the Bible? Do you have any plans to make changes in those areas in the New Year?
I encourage you to bring much fruit for the Lord and people around you in this coming year! May all your resolutions be accomplished! I leave you with this following verse to ponder on: “To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God” (Rev. 2:7).
A Prayer for a New Year: Prayer based on Philippians 2:13-14
Relationships and You
Have you been having difficulties with your relationships? One of the famous characters of the Bible, Jacob was not by any means an exception. He had to return to his homeland after working many years for Laban. While his brother, Esau, was coming to meet him with 400 men, Jacob used his wisdom to ease the tension of this strenuous relationship by being humble and sending Esau expensive gifts. Jacob then bowed to the ground seven times while approaching his brother and humbly calling himself a servant.
Perhaps, we should rethink our ways and approaches in our relationships. Humbleness and the right words can do wonders. Jesus concept of turning the other cheek is nothing more than a proposal of a warless way to handle situations around us. Perhaps, next time we feel like going on strike and prove our rights, we should restrain ourselves with the perfection of our heavenly Father, for He sends rain and sun to both the just and the unjust.
Read: Genesis 32, 33 & Matthew 5:38-48
Someone has said: “A wise man learns from mistakes of others, a smart man learns from his own mistakes, and foolish learns from none.” We all surrounded by people who are either successful and/or failures. The temporary success or failure doesn’t immediately give us permission to analyze and adopt the actions of such people. For we know that what seemed like a failure started to bloom and things which beamed with success turned out to be complete embarrassing failures. We see this in the example of Joseph and his time as a slave. Before making any true judgment of things, one needs to take into consideration the foundation and focus of one’s direction. Any company, home or character built on the integrity of the word of God can succeed or come out clean , regardless of difficulties in the process. Anything that is built on lies and manipulation, will eventually bring corruption no matter how successful it seemed in the beginning.
I found Bible as the only source of true wisdom for everything we deal with in our day. It has moral laws, which if people truly adopt and live by can never fail. The true success of one’s life and work will be determined through a long period of time and will be analyzed at the final days of every person. Solomon has been successful in the beginning, because the Lord was the core of His success. But he has failed miserably and he is not remembered as well as his father David. David on the contrary has had some failures, but no other king has such a positive outcome. David is still popular through many generations afterwards.
It is absolutely sad to see strong , successful people to fail over simple things that could have been avoided. Samson has lost his strength for he loved gentile women. There was no reason to break God’s law by seeking women outside of Israel, for we have a great record that women of his nation come with exceptional charm.
I find it very useful to study this great book that is called the Holy Bible. Spend very much time with it and with its Author. Pay attention to the people mentioned in this book. Learn their positive and negative moves and their successes and failures. Also, remember the perfectionism is possible only with God. Failures are normal to humans. Just don’t allow those failures to keep you down for too long, nor your successes make you boast into pride (which will make you fail.) Seek God for His wisdom and His direction in your life. Remember, even though beginning is important, the end shows the final results.