The Year 2016

The Year 2016

“The days of our lives are seventy years; and if
by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet
their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is
soon cut off and we fly away.”
Psalm 90:10

Why should we celebrate the coming New Year? Quite frankly, at one level, this is a waste of time and money because the world around us will not change much and, given all the violence raging in it, it may even be worse than 2015! Nevertheless, we should celebrate because our lives are measured by time and the Bible itself states that we are generally promised three score years and ten; that’s 70 years. It’s not the passing of time that counts but in what way we are harnessing time, making it our servant and utilizing it for the purposes of the flourishing of the Kingdom of God in our own lives and in the lives of those around us.
In short our years should not be wasted and so rush by until our strength fades and we pass into eternity. So many lives are wasted in this way and Jesus called this walking the Broad Road to destruction (Matthew 7:13). New Year revelry for the sake of revelry is therefore dangerous business and we should avoid it but this does not mean that we should not celebrate and have fun; we should! However, we should do so with the sober reminder that we are here to love God, serve Him and live for Him. Our days are to be filled with His love and presence and we should all have a sense of destiny. Paul put it this way:

“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,
redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do
not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

Ephesians 5:15-17

This dynamic exhortation from Paul sums it all up precisely. The days are evil and we should not be fools by letting the years rush by without us harnessing them for the will of God. Time has to be “redeemed.” This means that it has to be bought back and this in turn involves conscious effort and dedication every day. Day by day we should surrender our lives to Christ and live for Him recognizing that with each passing year our one shot at life is coming to an end.

Saul, the failed King of Israel, testified at the close of his life that he had played the fool (1 Samuel 26:21). How sad this is and indeed since then he has been joined by millions more. Jesus said that we are to build our lives upon the rock of His person (Matthew 7:24-25). So then, as we witness the passing of an old year and the arrival of a new one let us indeed gather with friends and family and celebrate but let us do it in the certain knowledge that our lives are above all pleasing to God.
Happy New Year,

Malcolm Hedding.