Another New Year has dawned though it seems that we have pretty much landed in 2022 directly from 2019. The past 2 years had shaken the very foundations of many and have got them to think of the purpose of life and assess their priorities.
This generation will never forget how our world turned upside down into total chaos and confusion from just 15 days to slow the spread of an unknown virus to staying locked down for nearly 2 years, missing out on weddings, funerals, graduations, struggling to make ends meet and unable to visit a friend or family near or far. Pretty much each one of us realised that we had taken so many things for granted and we have started to appreciate the little things in life.
Not many of us are entering this New Year with great joy as things have turned out drastically for some. Hopelessness prevails in the world but I just want to share this message with you all this New Year to encourage you all in the living hope we have that doesn’t end in this short time span on earth but extends to eternity.
The scientists and the medical world are still scratching their heads to find a cure for an unknown virus and even before they could fully understand it, they managed to find a fix apparently and obviously it isn’t 100% effective. Even those who were quite hopeful in the beginning have started to lose hope and are fearing the inevitable death every single day.
The Christmas message that was shared was about why Jesus came down to earth and the reason for all the joy and celebration. Jesus, the second person of the Trinity existed even before times. He is God Incarnate who stepped down in human form 2000 years ago for the Salvation of the entire mankind.
Jesus came down to earth to release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. When Christ conquered death for us, He removed the “sting of death,” sin (1 Corinthians 15:56)—that is, we will not be judged by God according to our sins; rather, we will stand before God robed in Christ’s own perfect righteousness.
14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.
As the whole world is trying to find means to somehow save people from the first death, we often forget to think on what happens after we depart from this world. Even those who shy away from thinking about their own mortality did think about it several times in the last 2 years. We cannot deny the inevitable death as all those who are born in this world have to die one day. No one can hold anyone’s life in their hands even if we have advanced in science and technology. However, we can definitely have an assurance of Eternity with our creator God, who came down to earth to save us from the sins, died in our place and resurrected and defeated the death on the cross. Imagine eternity with your loved ones. Would anyone want it any other way?
That is why those who believe in Christ “will not be hurt at all by the second death” (Revelation 2:11), and “the second death has no power over them” (Revelation 20:6). Christ has received our death penalty for sin and, through His death, has conquered death (Revelation 20:14).
God has a plan and purpose for each one of us. Having a good job, a loving family and kids, a good house and enjoying the work of your hands is a blessing from God. However, we all know that it is temporary. In the last 2 years, we witnessed the most unimaginable in our lifetime. Young and old, healthy and unhealthy, religious and atheists everyone faced the same thing. After witnessing all this, it wouldn’t be wise to continue to live our life as if we have all the time on this earth. Let this New Year encourage us to explore the purpose of our life.
Several people wanted to live forever in this earth. But when they knew it wasn’t possible, they went on to create legacies. Even those legacies were lost in a few generations. But the very hope that there is a loving Father waiting for us with open arms when we close our eyes in this earth and be with Him the next moment is something we have to be reminded of to overcome this fear of death and the second eternal death.
Those who believe Him “are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). What can separate us from the love of God in Christ? “Neither death nor life” (verse 38). Christ has conquered death, and believers stand firm on Jesus’ words: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies. And everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die” (John 11:25–26, BSB).
Nothing in this world can be held so tightly, whether it be relationships, materialistic things, our jobs or our possessions. However, if we hold tightly to the author of our hope, then even if we have to temporarily lose them we will eternally gain them.
When Alexander The Great, after conquering kingdoms returning to his country, he fell ill that led him to his deathbed. He gathered his generals and told them, “I will depart from this world soon, I have three wishes, please carry them out without fail.”
The king asked his general to abide by these last wishes:
1) The king of Macedon said, “My physicians alone must only carry my coffin.”
2) “I desire that when my coffin is being carried to the grave, the path leading to the graveyard be filled with the wealth that I collected,” the king said.
3) “My third and last wish is that both my hands be kept hanging out of my coffin,” Alexander said.
The generals agreed to abide by their king’s last wishes and asked him the reason for doing so. Alexander said, “I want the world know the three lessons I have just learnt.” The king interpreted his wishes and continued; “I want my physicians to carry my coffin because people should realize that no doctor on this earth can really cure anybody. They are helpless in front of death.”
Describing his second wish, the king said: “I spent all my life earning riches but cannot take anything with me. Let people know that wealth is nothing but dust.”
Thirdly, I wish people to know that I came empty handed into this world and I will go empty-handed.”
So, I encourage you dear friends, seek your creator God fervently this New Year. Reassign your priorities, spend more time with your family, create lasting memories, do not over work to gain riches in this world, be content with what you have.
15 And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
If you are a Christian and reading this, we are called to fulfil His Great Commission that He entrusted to us. If you or your Church isn’t doing the following but doing everything else apart from this, it is high time you step out and step in to His Great Commission.
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
May this New Year propel you into God’s purposes in you life!!