Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Road map for the New Year

Road map for the New Year

Another year has gone past – in a flash. So much has happened so fast that the year is almost a blur.
Many good things have happened, but many sad things as well. I know of three people who have died in motorcycle accidents in three different cities. One of them as an only child of my next door neighbor, a young man full of life and zest barely twenty years old. Others have suffered a loss of a parent or a loved one.  A half a dozen people I know were diagnosed with and are battling cancer. One is a young mother of two,  another is a retired Christian who was getting ready to relocate to another city to be part of a church plant. Two young people I know were injured last year – one in a freak accident and the other a victim of an armed assault and robbery. As we read the newspapers and watch the news on the TV,  daily we see more accounts of death, destruction and distress all around. What can we do? How can we as Christians cope in a world with a lot of good in it but also much pain and suffering.
I offer you three insights from God’s word that will help us in a trouble soaked world.  First of all cultivate a spirit of thankfulness. Philipians 4:8 “… with thanksgiving, present your requests to God and the peace of God will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”.  Colossians 2:6 commands us to be “… overflowing with thankfulness”.  1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances”.  Recognize God’s grace and favour upon your life. Make a “Thank You” list of all you can thank God for. You’ll be amazed at how much you can give thanks for. You can thank God for your salvation, that you are physically alive, your family (parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, etc.), your spouse and children, your education, your job, your home, your vehicle, food, electricity, water, the internet, your church, youth group, your ministry, the spiritual gifts God has blessed you with, freedom to worship, law and order, etc. The list can go on and on. You’ll be amazed at how your spirit will soar as you begin to give thanks and recognize God’s goodness to you.
Secondly, although we live on earth, remember we are citizens of heaven.  We are to live like strangers and aliens passing through this world.  Paul reminded the Thessalonians in 1 Thessalonians 4:14 to encourage one another with the truth that one day Christ Jesus would return and we would be with him forever. We need to be reminded that our journey on earth is a brief but important interlude to our being with God forever. Keep your eyes on your final destination. This earth in its present form is contaminated by sin and sickness. We are heaven bound heading for a place where there is no more death, or mourning of crying or pain. (Revelation 21:4) . In the words of Mother Teresa  “In light of heaven, the worst suffering on earth, a life full of the most atrocious tortures on earth, will be seen to be no more serious than one night in an inconvenient hotel.”  The heroes of faith of Hebrews 11 – Abraham, Moses, and the others named and unnamed all endured the challenges of the present by looking ahead to the distant future. Remember, your present trouble is only temporary, your future glory is eternal.

Thirdly, Jesus showed us how to save our life in Mark 8: 35.  “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.” Our life is a gift from God. If we try to hold on to it, Jesus says it will be lost. But if we expend our life in the service of the King and his kingdom we will save it. God has given us this time on earth to use the talents he has given us to bring him kingdom on earth. It will mean denying ourselves, taking up our cross and following him.  Where are you investing your life? Pleasures, comforts and the things of this world may satisfy momentarily, but have no eternal significance. However, a life invested in offering the cup of cold water to someone, visiting the sick, sharing the gospel, feeding the hungry, visiting those in prison, will reap eternal rewards and commendation from the King of the universe. I know of two ladies both in their 70’s. They are busy - committed to their local church and committed to working among the poor and the needy. Although they may have health issues, their focus is on losing their life in the service of Jesus. What a stark difference from the world who are largely concerned with eating, drinking and looking after themselves. I know of a young  man who works through Saturday night and then comes to setup the church meeting hall for the Sunday service. What a contrast from so many Christians who have difficulty just making it on time for the church service. Christ Jesus has promised great rewards for those who lay down their lives for him. I see you believing Jesus’ promises of great reward and recognition in the age to come and making great sacrifices in the service of a great Saviour and King.
As we enter 2011, let’s be a thankful people. Let’s remember our life is like the morning mist and our true home is heaven and that the King of the Universe is coming soon with his reward with him (Revelation 22:12). He will reward us according to what we have done. Let’s live this year for Jesus, laying down our lives in service of the King.

God Bless you,
Have a great year ahead.
Colin D’Cruz
 ( This article also appeared in the "Voice Of Truth" magazine Jan 2011 issue)

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