The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed me to preach Good News to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” Luke 4:18-19 (and see Isaiah 61:1-2).
Shifting our focus onto what is truly important
In the Old Testament, we find that New Years were of major spiritual importance. [The emphasis on this is not as common] in the New Testament however, and I have wondered why. I think this is because the focus shifts to what is truly important.
Colossians 2:16-17 explains that the feast days and festivals were “a shadow of the things that were to come. The reality, however, is found in Christ”. In Christ, we pass from the temporary to the permanent.
The Lord cares about our hearts
Jesus did not come to establish a religious system or to give us rituals. Some people like a liturgical style of worship with special ordinances and garments, but Jesus has never required them of us and, let’s be clear about it, they do not save us. “...If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” John 8:31-32.
Give glory to God all year long
For the children of God, Passover, for example, is not one day a year: “Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival with the bread of sincerity and truth.” 1 Cor 5:7-8. That important festival is not just once a year but should be appreciated every day, without interruption.
When we look at things like that, the start of a new year does not mean a great deal. Figures on the calendar are blotted out by the glory of Christ. Christianity is not a religious system founded by Jesus. It is Jesus Himself! The flow of His blessing, power and goodness is eternal, without reference to earthly times, dates or festivals.
Expect an extraordinary life
With God every day and year is special. For those who trust in God, there are no lucky or unlucky numbers and no unlucky days, such as Friday the 13th. In fact, it is not luck but the blessing of God that is the over-riding reality for God’s people.
The Psalmist said: “Goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life. My times are in Your hands.” Psa 23:6, 31:15. With God there are no ordinary days. He makes each day unique and extraordinary!
We do not know exactly when Jesus was born, however, that is not important because Jesus Christ was the same yesterday as He is today and will be tomorrow. Christ’s coming to earth gave true meaning to all human existence. Unless the world relates to Him, it ultimately relates to nothing. Its significance rests on a relationship with Him. “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matt 16:26.
Every new year, God is with you
We do not know the date of Christ’s Second Coming. Some Christians were adamant that Christ would return at the end of the second millennium (by our earthly calendars), and that date passed long ago. In truth, any odd day could be ‘the day’. God has no sentimental regard for our special days or years.
For the New Year, I would like to present you with one tremendous fact from the Bible: God is with you and is faithful! Life for the believer is not haphazard, a matter of chance or fate. God is faithful and dependable. He is not affected by our fickle nature or dependent on our faithfulness, our constancy, or our flawless spirituality. We may not be perfect Christians, but “nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.” Rom 8:38-39. We can lose a lot because of our sin and foolishness, but we cannot get away from the love of God any more than we can escape from the air we breathe. God the Father proclaims Himself as the everlastingly changeless and faithful Lord. Christ promises never to leave us and tells us that the Holy Spirit will abide with us forever.
A 365 day life-journey through unexplored territory lies ahead of you in the New Year. Let this glorious truth be your guide and promise: God is faithful! He is with you! “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matt 28:20.
You can be sure of one thing: that truth applies to you!
By: REINHARD BONNKE is the founder of Christ for All Nations. For more info see: www.cfan.org.za