New year Letter 2018
Let me start by wishing you ‘happy new year’ and ‘merry Christmas in arrears’! This is one of my favourite seasons. It used to be special to me because it was during the Christmas and New Year that I got to eat many things all in the same day while visiting friends and family. That has now changed; I now enjoy the season now for a different reason. It is a time of coming together of families and friends, from far and near.
I am older now and my interest has shifted from the meals to reuniting with the people who prepare them, some of whom I might not have seen throughout the year. And what a time it is!
But do you remember that this is what Christmas is really about? It is about God establishing His family on earth and giving all of us access to join in. He did this through His one and only Son, Jesus. The Bible says: ‘But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.’ (John 1:12-13, NLT) The ‘Him’ in the passage refers to Jesus who came into the world to show us the Love of the Father and to give us the privilege to enjoy that love.
‘See how very much our heavenly Father loves us, that He allows us to be called His children and we really are… Yes, dear friends, we are already God’s children…’ (1John 3:1-2a, NLT)And in Romans 5:8, we read: ‘But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners’. (NLT)
But you ask: ‘a show of love’? Yes, a show of love! This is because we all have sinned (Romans 3:23) and before God, we were as good as dead. ‘You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins.’ (Colossians 2:13, NLT).
‘But how did I come to have sin?’ I hear you wonder. ‘When Adam sinned, sin entered the entire human race. Adam’s sin brought death so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned’. (Romans 5:12, NLT) Adam our first father sinned, and the implication was that we his children were stained with the nature of sin. Yes that is true. But thank God, through Jesus we can now have life. ‘… He has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. So whoever has God’s Son has life; whoever does not have His Son does not have life.’ (1John 5:11-12, NLT) Hallelujah to God in the highest!
Remember that to have the Son is to believe Him and accept Him (John 1:12). So let me ask you right now: ‘Do you believe in Jesus as the Son of God who gives life?’ If you do, congratulations! You are a member of God’s family! But if you do not, well, it is not late at all. If you want to join the family of God, you can do that right now by putting your faith in Jesus to save you. He has already paid the price; all you need is to accept it.
You can take out time to talk (pray) to God. Tell God that you believe in His Son who came to give you life. Tell Him that you accept His love given to you and the right He gave you to become His child! Now thank Him for accepting you into His family. Bring your prayer to a close in Jesus’ name. You are now part of God’s family as simple as that. Look at 1John 5:11-12 that I quoted above again.
If you ever received Jesus to become part of God’s family (either now or long before), remember that it does not stop there. The power by which you became a child of God is so you can live life victoriously over sin and the devil! Yes you can live victoriously over the devil, he has been defeated. This means that the devil cannot toy with you anymore. In fact, He is careful about you now that you are a child of God.
Is that not wonderful? Look at this ‘I have written to you who are young in the faith because you are strong. God’s word lives in your hearts and you have won your battle with the evil one.’ (1John 2:14c, NLT). Do you know what this means? It means he cannot make you sin, and when He tempts you, you can say a resounding ‘No!’ ‘For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age’ (Titus 2:11-12; NIV). James 4:7-8 says clearly: ‘So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you’. (NLT)
In this New Year, walk in that victory of the children of God; make use of the power of being a child of God. You will see the year turn out to be glorious as it should be.
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We love you and are always praying for you. The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is sufficient for you, to raise you in times of weakness and steady you in times of strength. Amen!
Joel, Gwazafon James
for Pen For Christ