God’s grace for the New Year – Part 2
Some Christians do not understand the difference between the righteousness of prominent personalities in the Bible, especially Moses, and the righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ. Such people miss a vital point about life as believers, and therefore, face endless and avoidable struggles in the New Year that should have brought freshness and new possibilities.
The fundamental mistake they make is to think that because a breach of the Ten Commandments would attract severe punishment, the children of Israel tried to obey them through human efforts. The truth is that the people were helpless in the face of daunting influence and power and corruption of sin. Many great prophets and leaders like Elijah, David, Moses, among others, could not help them to keep God’s commandments. Then Jesus came and brought grace — the gospel of righteousness at Christ’s expense — to the world. He also promised to abide in any believer who lets Him in into his heart. “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me,” (Revelation 3:20). Christ’s presence within gives us with the grace to live a righteous life. This is the power of God in man.
Knowledge of Christ through theology or religious studies is not enough. We must receive Him into our hearts and allow His word to guide us. Preserving God’s word in our hearts will constantly remind us of Christ, our saviour and enable us to follow the right path that leads to heaven. If we truly have the gospel of Christ in us, we must give due attention on the Lord this New Year and always without any distractions.
The love and sacrifice of Christ on the cross should compel us to love others, overlook offenses and forgive every provocation. Whether at home, school or workplace, we are expected to express the love of Christ to others. As believers, our comportment, language, dressing and relationship should reflect the grace of God. We must live to please God in all things without being ashamed of the gospel of Christ. “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
Everyone who has been redeemed, experiences total transformation that comes through a glorious resurrection. After Christ’s resurrection, He appeared to His disciples on several occasions in a supernatural way. This New Year, believers who are “risen with Christ” will possess the capacity to operate in the realm of the supernatural because the limitation of the old life has given way to the new.
Christians who truly love Christ and the glories of heaven always “set [their] affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” They understand that what they think about every time has influence and power over them. Unfortunately, today, many professing believers forget the essence of grace — glorious resurrection at Christ’s expense. They think and talk more about witches and wizards and their activities more than they do about Christ. They magnify the power of Satan more than that of Christ; and because of their confession, they experience defeat. Having “delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son”, the Lord wants us to realise that curses and spells, diseases and sicknesses from the enemy do not have power over us. Raised together with Jesus and seated in heavenly places with Him, we remain untouchable. To experience God’s power and receive more of His revelation, our focus must be on heaven and its glories.
God answers believers’ prayer on the basis of grace. Because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, He grants us freedom from oppression, healing from sicknesses and deliverance from attacks of the enemy when we pray. Prayer is presenting our requests before God. If an earthly father cannot deny the legitimate requests of his children, God cannot deny the petition of believers who pray according to His will.
God is not a liar; His promise to every Christian is: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you,” (Matthew 7:7). Salvation, healing, deliverance, fruitfulness, provision and promotion are available for everyone who asks in faith.
This New Year, if we “continue in prayer, and watch with thanksgiving,” we shall enjoy daily victory and divine protection.
• Further Reading (King James Version): Colossians 1:1,2; 4:18; 2:6; 3:16,13,14,15,17; Romans 1:16,17; Colossians 3:1,2; 1:13; Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 4:2.