Merry Christmas and A Prosperous New Year
This is the time of the year that is known for celebration. It is the time of the year that we celebrate the birth of Christ. A reminder to the world that Jesus came into the world according to the scripture and we rejoice with exceeding joy.
In a year declared that Beauty will replace Ashes, we are grateful to God that we have such testimonies amongst us and we have proven evidences that the way we began this year is not the way we are right now. We have truly seen the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
We have become stronger in our walk with the Lord, God’s grace has kept us all throughout the year and His protective hands have shielded us from life’s challenges and afflictions.
The word of God teaches us to give thanks in everything; for it is the will of God in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18) so on this note, I will like you to look into your life and appreciate God for being God over your life and circumstances throughout this year.
When I talk about appreciation, I mean it is time to acknowledge the goodness of God, it is time to treasure His faithfulness, it is time to recognise that if it was not the Lord on your side, where will you be, and it is time to value God’s unchanging Agape love over you.
Despite this, I know that it is in human nature to dwell on the negative. It is common to human nature to look to the things not done, things not promising, the things that saddened our hearts in the course of the year. The loved ones that we lost to death, the job that was given to another, the promotion missed, the health suffered at the hands of physicians, I mean the wrong diagnosis with wrong prescriptions given, etc. But do you know that when you seriously look into your life and go beyond the negative thoughts you will see the wonders of God that are more than the discouraging stories of the year!
Firstly, you are still alive which means, there is still hope for you. If there is hope for a tree if it is cut down, that it will sprout again and that its tender shoots will not cease though its root may grow old in the earth, and its stump may die in the ground yet at the scent of water, it will bud and bring forth branches like a plant according to Job 14:7-9, then there is hope for you while you are still living and connected to the Source of Life Himself.
Let this month be a month to count your blessings as the Psalmist recorded in Psalm 103:1-5 saying: “Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
This was from a man who appreciated God’s blessings over his life. Even though a king loved by God and with a testimony that “he was a man after God’s heart”, he did not live a perfect life like all of us and having understood the righteous justice of God but mercy ruled in his favour, he learnt to address his soul – which all of you reading this message need to do. Count your blessings.
When you look back to where you came from, you will be amazed at how far the Lord has brought you in life. Please remember the season when no-one was interested in you and now you have friends. O remember in that season when friends became enemies but God did not permit them to destroy you. O remember when your adversaries schemed and petition your downfall but God did not permit them because His prophetic blessing rest on your life and who God has blessed cannot be destroyed. You are blessed in Christ Jesus beloved (Ephesians 1:3). Count your blessings and name them one by one.
I know that as important as money is to us all, it can buy a bed but cannot make you sleep on it. It can pay for a beautiful wedding but cannot make the married couple enjoy their married life. It buys gifts at Christmas but does not make you a responsible parent or individual in the life of the person you gave the gift to.
This is the time of the year when we all delight in buying presents for family, friends, colleagues at work and our associates, etc. BUT doing this for some is out of duty to perform and not a delight or through the act of genuine appreciation for the love they have for the receiver of the gift.
The genuine love of God for us who were born in sin, sharpen in iniquity, aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world, but now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Jesus, according to Ephesians 2:12-13 is worth celebrating and worth appreciating.
It is by the mercies of God that we are not consumed in 2013, it is because of His compassions fail not, they are new every morning. So count your blessings.
Let this month be the month to look back and see the goodness of the Lord, more than what you could have had, which you never have.
You are clothed with beauty for ashes indeed. Count your blessings.
A grateful heart is a merry heart
so Merry Christmas indeed!