By Ian Cotton, retired Seventh-day Adventist Pastor
I have contributed articles to the column “Think on These Things” for the past 19 years and now it is time to say goodbye as the content of the Advance changes.
I pray that we will be led to a closer walk with Jesus, especially as our confused world struggles to find answers as to why it is in the condition it is.
The Bible gives us principles to live by, “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8.
Already the New Year is here; we pause to ask, “How have we lived our lives over the year that has now passed into eternity?” The apostle Paul wrote, “Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith; prove your own selves.” At this important hour we should not be so caught up with other matters as to give no time to eternity and the spiritual aspect of our lives.
Let things of minor consequence be put in the background, and let us now live in light of things that concern our eternal interests. Live love. God knows no discrimination. Show to others that you love them, and help make this world all that it should be.
If Jesus lives in our hearts it will be revealed in what we say and how we relate to others. Will we seek to make wrongs right as far as possible. Repent, confess our sins to God and be forgiven and cleansed. Let all bitterness and anger be put away; let patience, kindness, and love become a part of our very being; then whatsoever things are pure and lovely and of good report will mature in our experience.
We must let Christ into our hearts and homes. We must cultivate love, sympathy, and true courtesy for our lives should be consecrated to the good and happiness of others, as was our Saviour’s life.
Have we revealed Jesus to others by our words and actions? Are we living in unity with those around us? We are to be living letters of Christ. Do we follow the example of Jesus in self-denial, in humility, in service, in devotion? Will the world be persuaded that we are a Christian by what we say and do?
In this New Year, it is incumbent upon us individually to cultivate the grace of Christ, to be firm, unwavering, steadfast in the truth; for only then can we be fit for heaven. Let us pray for clear discernment, that we may understand our Saviour’s claims upon us, and that we may always, and everywhere, be witnesses for Christ.
Lift up Jesus. Lift Him up in songs, in prayer, in unity. Let all our efforts be dedicated to pointing others to Jesus, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. Let us look to Jesus and be numbered with those who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus.
Even so, come Lord Jesus.