It's All About Him!
Another year is upon us. What will it bring? How will it end? Do you have a choice? Some say â€œNo,â€ and resign themselves to fate â€“ what will be, will be. We call this fatalism. Others say, â€œYes, I do have a choice. I can choose to make my own memories. I can choose the life I want to live. I have control over my destiny.â€ We call this optimism, governed by the power of positive thinking.
I would like to recommend a third option for your consideration. Yes, you do have a choice. You can choose to make your own memories, but you donâ€™t have to do that alone. I choose to invite Jesus to be my partner, to help me make good choices that will result in good memories and the best experiences of life I could ever hope or wish for. I choose to put Jesus in the driverâ€™s seat this year. I choose to give Him the controls. I choose to make Him the center of my life, my plans, my present, and my future. I want Him to control what I think, what I say, and what I do, as is expressed in Galatians 2:20 NLT, â€œMy old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.â€ Itâ€™s all about Him!
My choice is selfish. I want the best for me! And thereâ€™s another motivation. I am just plain scared. Scared to face life on my own, too scared to face the enemy, the devil and his destructive intentions. He is much too experienced and wily for me to challenge him and his evil devices. Iâ€™m glad Iâ€™m scared. I need a Champion, someone who is stronger and more powerful than the devil, and better still, Someone who has already conquered him (Hebrews 2:14-15). This gives me hope and confidence to face whatever challenges this new year may bring, because itâ€™s all about Him!
What am I going to preach about in this new year? I am going to follow the advice of a wise author, who I believe was inspired by God when she wrote, â€œLet the science of salvation be the burden of every sermon . . .,â€ and â€œno discourse should ever be preached without presenting Christ and Him crucified as the foundation of the gospelâ€ Evangelism, 185-186. I am ashamed to say that I have sometimes in my youthful zeal of the past, preached sermons in an argumentative way to prove my point. I donâ€™t remember winning any friends or souls in this way. I am told, â€œChrist is to be preached, not controversially, but affirmatively,â€ and that â€œthe love of Christ must have a part in every discourseâ€ Evangelism, 187, 189. I am slowly learning that it is all about Jesus!
Is daily reading your Bible and prayer on your resolution list for this new year? How are you going to do this? Here is an inspired suggestion: â€œIn order to be rightly understood and appreciated, every truth in the Word of God, from Genesis to Revelation, must be studied in the light that streams from the cross of Calvaryâ€ Evangelism, 190. Itâ€™s all about Jesus!
If you have grown up in the era I grew up in, you may well ask, â€œBut what of the importance of the law and obedience? Are we not the Remnant Church of Revelation that should be preaching the Three Angelsâ€™ Messages of Revelation 14?â€ A good and valid question. Here is how the same book, Evangelism, answers this question. â€œThis message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God. Many had lost sight of Jesus. They needed to have their eyes directed to His divine person, His merits, and His changeless love for the human family (My emphasis, p. 190).â€ Itâ€™s all about Him!
So, what about grace? Do we need to preach more about grace? In Evangelism, 191, we read:
â€œThe message of the gospel of His grace was to be given to the church in clear and distinct lines, that the world should no longer say that Seventh-day Adventists talk the law, the law, but do not teach or believe Christâ€ and â€œOf all professing Christians, Seventh-day Adventists should be foremost in uplifting Christ before the worldâ€ Evangelism, 187. Itâ€™s all about Him!
For this new year, I choose to make Jesus my best Friend ever. I want to emulate Paul when he says, â€œAs for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the worldâ€™s interest in me has also diedâ€ Galatians 6:14 NLT. Loving Jesus changes my life and the way I live. As I focus on Him, His life rubs off on me, and I find myself obeying His law by doing His will. Itâ€™s all about Him!