Begin the new year with God
Usually, some people have the tendency to begin a new year without recourse to God. To that extent, the resolutions they make over time tendered to exclude God in its entirety. However, the writer of the book of Genesis will not like believers to make the same mistake, but rather, will like them to begin the New Year with God. Therefore, he says: “in the beginning,” (Bereshit) or “at the start” or “at the head of all things,” from total and absolute nothing the Creator brought forth a substance so thin into being. That, which was capable of bringing nothing into something should begin with Him. Yes, He is capable of giving us direction and guidance throughout the year.
Nevertheless, we are aware of the raging argument for and against the creation story. Some people will prefer to say that the creation was by sudden explosion or the universe evolved over billions of years. However, our interest is not in the argument, but in the Bible, which recognises that God created heaven and the earth. By that singular act, it gives us hope that we can live on this planet earth. Through the creation story, God has demonstrated His love that we are more important than animals. Remember, He says: “then God blessed them, and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth,” (Gen. 1:28). We are now to move with confidence even in this New Year for God already has given us victory to subdue and overcome.
Notice, this God is not to be given a secondary place or back seat in our lives and in our affairs. He must occupy the important place in our lives, businesses and programmes. For any attempt to exclude Him, we will be courting danger to our own detriment. The Psalmist says: “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain,” (Psalm 127:1). Impliedly, God must be there for our lives to be meaningful and for us to achieve success in our endeavours.
Unfortunately, some people may have been predicting negative things about the year, partly because of the hardship and sad experiences of 2016. That notwithstanding, our God is on the throne and still in-charge. Therefore, He will turn every negative thing into positive for His glory and praise of His name. That means, there is the need to encourage one another this year, with assurance that God will surely bring every good thing to our side. Although, one may ask him/herself: ‘is God really at the foundation of my 2017?’ In the plans and programmes of the year, did I present my plans to God for His comments and approval? If not, why? Remember, if God is excluded then, there is bound to be problem along the line. What did Jesus say: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing,” (John 15:5). Impliedly, if God is excluded this year, things may not work, but God forbid!
Therefore, at the onset it is good we beckon on our countrymen and women to see the need to begin the year with God. His presence will give us peace, joy, progress, development and success, among others. No matter what we may encounter in the year, the joy we have is that we started the year with God. And as we stay in the circle of God’s children, we are safe because we are in the hands of Him Who is able to hold us from falling. Child of God may nothing influence you to the point of excluding God in this year. Think about it, is it for nothing that the first day of this year is a Sunday, Holy and set aside for God. There is much more than calendar occurrence. God wants you to begin with Him and that is the truth of the matter. Yes, the writer of Genesis insists “in the beginning God …..”. As we turn to Him may we not be put to shame throughout the year in Jesus name! Amen.
Ven. Ernest Onuoha
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.