The new year is here! This is a time of resolutions, promises, and commitments—most of which are broken or abandoned before the month of January has passed into February. So, what are your plans?
With the second coming of Christ just on the horizon, we should look with longing eyes for His return and make sure that we have made the two commitments that are the most important in this life: committing our lives—heart, soul, mind, and spirit—to follow and obey Him every day, and to do our part in spreading the gospel to a world that has so great a need for it.
“The new year is just before us. Shall not the gifts be turned to a better account than heretofore? Shall not confession be made and shall we not avail ourselves of the blood of Christ, who is able and willing to cleanse from all sin? …
“In the last great day we shall be judged in accordance with what we have done. Christ will say, ‘I was an hungered, and ye gave Me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me not in: naked, and ye clothed Me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited Me not. Then shall they also answer Him, saying, Lord, when saw we Thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto Thee?’ (Matthew 25:42–44). Christ will then say, ‘Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me’ (verse 45). And Christ will say, ‘Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels’ (verse 41).
“Christ came and set the example in sacrificing, and if we are Christ’s, then we will do the works of Christ. Instead of pleasing ourselves, we will be seeking to do others good, and to impart benefits to suffering humanity. And unless this is done, we cannot expect to have a part with Christ.
“There are souls to be saved all around us, and each has a work to do to be reconciled to Christ. This is the work to take hold of in the new year. We are living for time and eternity, and we want the light to flash upon our pathway and in return we want to extend its blessings to others. …
“Let each strive to have a better record for the coming year, and live so near to God that you may be surrounded with the atmosphere of heaven, and thus be a representative of Christ.” The Upward Look, 374
“Let us review our own course during the past year, and compare our life and character with the Bible standard. Have we withheld from our gracious Benefactor that which He claims from us in return for all the blessings He has granted? Have we neglected to care for the poor, and comfort the sorrowing? Here, then, is work for us.” The Review and Herald, January 3, 1882
Dear Lord, we thank You for this new year and each new day in it. Show us how we each can best serve You. Bring into our lives those who need to know You. And help us, that in all we do and say, to do the work that will hasten Your return.