Happy New Year! If you're reading this then that means you have survived 2016! To God be the glory because we know how harsh 2016 was for many, many people. Some didn't make it to 2017. Even in the last few days and hours of the year, I heard news of people losing their lives, and many families started the new year in mourning. Still, to God be the glory. We made it!
If you are a believer, a devoted disciple of Christ, then you have probably noticed that the days are growing shorter and more wicked. You have noticed that many of the things that the Bible prophesied are coming to pass. Second Timothy 3:1-5 says, "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive,disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-- 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people."
Hmmm...lovers of themselves...abusive...disobedient to their parents...ungrateful...without self-control...conceited....yep that sounds like some "terrible times" indeed, and that pretty much encapsulates the treacherous times in which we live. On a daily basis we are bombarded with news of death, destruction and disease. Terrorism, superbugs, mass shootings, the list goes on and on. We are living in the end times. In Matthew 24: 6-8, Jesus said, "You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains." Well friends, it's time to go to the hospital because the pain is very severe. We are living in the end times and anyone who owns a bible and reads it regularly can see it clearly.
So what's my point? Why am I talking about the end times in a blog post titled "Happy New Year?" Well, it's because I think there couldn't be a better time. Right now is a perfect opportunity to do a ministry check. Yes, I know, I know, you might not be a minister, however, EVERY Christian has a ministry. We have an assignment from our Savior to GO! He expects to return and find his people serving others and doing the work of the Kingdom. As we read the news each day, we should be horrified, disgusted and appalled at the horrors it contains, but it should also be an impetus and motivation for us to share the gospel, to lend a helping hand, to be Christ's hands and feet.
My dear Devoted Disciple, the same Holy Spirit who empowered twelve ordinary men to "turn the world upside down" works in us today. He is able to lead, strengthen, embolden, and empower those who seek to be about the Lord's business. Yes indeed, we are living in truly evil and treacherous days. It is clear that our enemy is very busy at his work because unlike too many Christians, he can read the signs of the end. When darkness rises up, it is up to the light to drive it out. We must be desperate for the lost. The harvest is truly plenteous and abundant. There are people perishing daily right before our eyes. Yes, they may scorn us. They may ridicule us. They may even throw profanities in our faces. But if one is saved. If one is snatched from the fire, then it is all worth it.
So, as we look at the year ahead, we truly have no idea where it will take us. However, we do know that Jesus is on His way. We do not know the hour, but the signs are too large to miss. So in the words of Longfellow, "Let us then be up and doing..." Let our Master return to find us hard at work. So as you write you list of resolutions and goals for the New Year, don't forget about the Kingdom. Let this be the year you do the most you've ever done for the Kingdom of God! God bless you and have a happy, safe, and prosperous 2017!