The whistle blew! The game started. At the indoor soccer complex in Dallas Texas, a scrimage between the Waco youth and Dallas youth took place. Team-mates shouting for passes… Running til they couldn’t anymore. Then the game stopped. Everyone fell silent and walked to the middle of the field. It was 11:55pm on 12/31/2009. Everybody huddled together to pray to God with thanks for blessing 2009 and to guide us into the new year of 2010. That was how I spent my New Years a year ago.
Although the memories give me a brief smile, another thought crosses my mind. What have I done this year? What have I accomplished?
Many have lost their jobs in this weary economy. Others have gotten promoted. Some have crawled their ways out of debt while others scrambled to do anything possible to keep food on their tables.
….but what have you done for Christ? What have you done for the Kingdom of God?
Have you fed the hungry? Have you clothed the poor? Have you sponsored an orphan or supported a missionary? Have you talked to a non-believer struggling to find the very thing they’ve been missing, Christ?
James 1:27a tells us “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…”
One of the most popular New Years resolution I’ve heard from Christians is “to get closer to God”. Have you gotten closer to Him? Or did you lose faith and adopt the “Once saved, always saved” belief that is a “Christian” excuse for not wanting to repent? The scripture clearly tells us:
1) Romans 6:1-2 “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”
2) Ezekiel 18:21,22,24 “But if a wicked person turns away from all the sins they have committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, that person will surely live; they will not die. None of the offenses they have committed will be remembered against them. Because of the righteous things they have done, they will live. But if a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked person does, will they live? None of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness they are guilty of and because of the sins they have committed, they will die.”
Did you slip into that mentality and blend in with the world to camoflauge yourself? If you may have noticed, I only quoted the first part of James 1:27. The second part tells us “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
2011 is just around the corner. Change could be there, all depending on you! Are you going to risk another year without God? If not, are you going to proclaim His Gospel to friends, family and coworkers as well as strangers? Are you going to feed an orphan and look after a widow?
Change all starts with you and I. Not the government. Make 2011 the year of Godly change. Shine your light to everyone. Pray for others. Focus on others in this “all-about-me” world. When the last moments of 2010 come around, bow your head and pray. Ask God to guide you and to lead you. Without Him we are nothing. With Him, we are everything! I pray that next year will bring happiness to you all and closeness to Christ. Amen.