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Another Year-2013 – part 2 – Week 2/3 / January 6th
As we enter another year we must center our lives on the things that really matter as I have no doubt that the year ahead of us will have some serious challenges for the Body of Christ. Paul’s final greetings at the end of his epistles very often have some wonderful advice for us that we would do well to take note of and follow. All of scripture is inspired and God breathed and so we can most certainly profit from what at first glance appears to be insignificant. Our lives must have something temporal and eternal upon which to be built upon and therefore, time and again, Paul tells us that we must build our lives upon the foundation which is Jesus Christ. (1Corinthians 3:11) Jesus Himself self concluded His beautiful Sermon on the Mount with a similar exhortation as He said that our lives are like houses that must be built upon a rock. When storms, troubles and trials come they will remain standing. The “Rock” is His life living in us. This is the only way to arm ourselves for the year that is now ahead of us.
Paul’s final greeting at the end of 2Corinthians is therefore good advice that we should take!
“Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”(2Corinthians 13:11)
We should take note of the following:
1. There is a time to say goodbye
Life does not go on forever in the physical realm of the present. Like Paul; there comes a day when we will all have to say “Farewell.” This reminds us that we are just one breath away from eternity and therefore we must be ready all the time. We must live every day for Jesus and as we begin a new year it is important that we resolve to do so. God can call you and me home at anytime and it would be a blessing to cross into eternity without regrets! Few are those, I believe, who do so!
2. There is a time to grow into spiritual maturity
Paul exhorts his readers to, “Become complete.” That is; to grow up in Christ and reflect a behavior pattern that is Christ-like. The Corinthian believers were riddled with carnality and immaturity as regards their growth in Jesus and thus their church was a place of division and contention. Jesus wants “complete people’! These are people who are not easily offended, who are wise and above all loving and compassionate. This cannot wait and therefore resolve to clothe yourself with Christ in 2013.
3. There is a time to reflect on the meaning of reconciliation
Sin alienates us from God and our fellow man. So, if the sin problem has been dealt with in our lives by what Jesus did for us on the cross we should demonstrate by our actions that we are right with God and right with our neighbors. Anything short of this is a contradiction of our claim to be a Jesus follower. This is a serious issue and therefore we must be encouraged, we must be anchored by well being or comfort and we must demonstrate unity and live in peace with all people.
These then are three very clear spiritual objectives that we should embrace fully in the year ahead. If we give ourselves to them Paul leaves us with an exciting promise; “The God of love and peace will be with you.” What more could I wish for myself and for you in 2013.
Happy New Year!
©Malcolm Hedding Ministries