Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's A New Year

   We find ourselves in this pivotal time of the year when we look back at what we have experienced in 2011 while at the same time our thoughts run toward what will be in 2012.  Many will make new year resolutions while some will forgo this annual effort that only seems to last a few weeks anyway.  As children of God, how should we approach the new year?  What should be our focus as we start 2012?  There is a passage in God’s Word I would have us consider that clearly sets before us a principle we should be conscious of every day. 
The passage comes from King Solomon and is found in Ecclesiastes 12.13-14.  Solomon wrote, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.  For God will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”  This passage is the close of a book that focuses on the vanity of living life for the here and now.  In other words, Solomon said throughout the Book of Ecclesiastes that he had tried everything life has to offer and found it all empty of true pleasure, peace, contentment, and fulfillment of life.  Solomon said there is nothing this life has to offer which can bring everlasting value and contentment to the heart and soul of man.  As the richest and wisest man to ever live, Solomon had indeed tasted all life has to offer.  Having done so, He concluded two things in this passage.
   First, have a reverential fear of God and obey His commands.  The idea here is that if we prayerfully order our lives according to God’s Word, life will take on a whole new meaning.  True purpose in life comes from living in the will of God.  True contentment in life comes from doing what God has gifted and called us to do.  Life will never feel complete as long as we are trying to do our own thing apart from God’s will for us.  Life will be unfulfilled if we live in sin and disobedience to God’s holy commands.  We must surrender our will to His will.  We must love God supremely and order our lives, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to bring honor and glory to Him at all times.  To walk with Jesus is the lofty noble life God intends for His redeemed.
   Secondly, we can be sure there is a day of accountability coming for every man.  There is a day of judgment where every thought, every word, every action, every intent of the heart will be brought into account before God.  There is no secret area of life hidden from God.  God is omniscient, He knows and sees all things.  We should live our lives knowing there is one before whom we must stand one day and give account.  Good and bad will be set out in the open before God one day.
   Knowing these things should drive us to our heavenly Father in confession of sin while at the same time imploring Him to lead and guide us in this new year.  My prayer is that we individually and collectively as a church body will be found faithful to the cause of Christ.  Let us set our sights on 2012 and pray that it will be the greatest year yet for the cause of Christ at OakLeaf Baptist Church.  

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