My dearest people, fellow laborers in Christ, let us not be weary in well-doing (Galatians 6:9), but by love, let us serve one another. Below is a letter from a Father to his children, sons- and daughters-in-law, and grand-children on the occasion of the New Year 2014. I thought you would be blessed.
To all my beloved, God’s abundant blessings to you throughout the New Year 2014.
On this first day of the New Year 2014, I would like to suggest to you to read and meditate on I Peter 1
. This chapter blessed your mother and I this morning. I would like to share with you some of the key facts our heavenly Father is reminding us as we start the New Year:
As human beings, we all are “pilgrims” on the earth; we are passengers; we are in the world but we are not of the word [John 17:14
]. As born again of God’s spirit, we don’t belong to this world; we are citizens of the Kingdom of God, and therefore, we have to strive to conduct ourselves according to the rules of our country of citizenship, the Heaven! So, what is the lesson here? Romans 12:2
says we “do not have to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our mind [by studying the Word and storing it in our heart as a treasure], that we may prove [or experience] what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God [for us, His children].
We have been “elected” by God; we are His own people. What a privilege. Therefore, how do we respond to such an election? The answer is “obey God” [Acts 5:29
]. As we do, we find grace in His sight and peace [Isaiah 26:3
]. Nothing is better than this!
As born-again of God’s spirit, we have Christ in us, the hope of glory [Colossians 1:27
]. Praying the Father before his death, Jesus asked the Father to allow us to behold his glory, meaning to be partakers of his glory in eternity [John 17.24; 2 Peter 1:4
] and, while on earth, to be held by the Father against the evil one for salvation [John 17:15
]. What a privilege!
While we are saved by grace, our responsibility is to live according to our calling [Ephesians 4:1
]. The Word of God is clear: those who would like to live according to the principle of God, will suffer persecution [2 Timothy 3:12
], but this suffering is only for “a little while”. These trials, which are the response of an unbelieving world to people of faith [we will always face tribulations because we have an adversary], are part of the refining process that burns away impurities and prepare us to mature spiritually, and therefore to meet Christ when he will come back for his people, the Body of Christ, of which we are members. It is as if we are being “tested by fire”!
The plan of salvation, which was a mystery not only to all prophets of the Old Testament but also to angels [1 Peter 1:12
], was revealed to us today. So let’s read and meditate continually on the Word of God, in particular the Pauline Epistles (Romans to Thessalonians).
Because Christ will soon return, let’s gird up the loins of our mind, meaning let’s be mentally alert, disciplined, and focused on the things above, not on things of the earth [Colossians 3:2
]. let’s obey our heavenly Father and always do what is pleasing in His sight. Let’s be holy, for He is holy!
We have been redeemed with the precious blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God redeemed us from our sins with the precious blood of His only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who paid of his life for our salvation. The Word says: “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” [John 3:16
]. How do we respond to such a love? The minimum we can do is to love our neighbors as ourselves!
Remember, our life is like grass and the flower of the grass. This is a clear reminder that everything in this life, including our own lives, will eventually fade away and disappear. Nothing is permanent, except the Word of God, which is His will. So let’s submit to the will of God not to the will of men [Acts 4:19
So, throughout the New Year 2014, let’s obey God by focusing more and more on what really matters: the Word of God which is life and healing to those who find it [Proverbs 4:20-22] and delight on it [Psalms 119:16].