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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! We hear these words echo every January 1, but what do these words really mean? Is it a time of rebirth or a time of starting fresh?

While each culture's New Year celebration has its own flavor, there are certain common themes. The period leading up to New Year's Day is a time for setting things straight: a thorough housecleaning, paying off debts, returning borrowed objects, reflecting on one's shortcomings, mending quarrels. In many cultures, people jump into the sea or a local body of water-literally washing the slate clean.

As a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, I asked myself what these words mean to me in the time in which we are living. Am I happy for the New Year because we are now closer than ever to our Lord’s return, or am I happy because I have another year to obtain worldly goods. I would hope it is the first for all of us. The signs are everywhere, like it or love it Christ is coming.

Are we ready to give the things of this world up for Christ? Many of us will suffer for Him, are we ready? In Early Writing page 76.2,3 by Ellen White she states;

Heaven will be cheap enough, if we obtain it through suffering. We must deny self all along the way die to self-daily, let Jesus alone appear, and keep His glory continually in view. I saw that those who of late have embraced the truth would have to know what it is to suffer for Christ's sake, that they would have trials to pass through that would be keen and cutting, in order that they may be purified and fitted through suffering to receive the seal of the living God, pass through the time of trouble, see the King in His beauty, and dwell in the presence of God and of pure, holy angels.

As I saw what we must be in order to inherit glory, and then saw how much Jesus had suffered to obtain for us so rich an inheritance, I prayed that we might be baptized into Christ's sufferings, that we might not shrink at trials, but bear them with patience and joy, knowing what Jesus had suffered that we through His poverty and sufferings might be made rich. Said the angel, "Deny self; ye must step fast." Some of us have had time to get the truth and to advance step by step, and every step we have taken has given us strength to take the next. But now time is almost finished, and what we have been years learning, they will have to learn in a few months. They will also have much to unlearn and much to learn again”…

So my question is, are we ready to do a thorough housecleaning of our souls? Are we ready to pay off our debts to the Lord? Have we been, reflecting on our shortcomings, mending quarrels, so we will be ready to meet our Savior? What do the words ‘Happy New Year’ mean to you?

My prayer is that we all reflect on our past year and see if our relationship with Christ is fitting for His Kingdom or just our own kingdom, and if it is the later I pray we start setting things straight with God.

I like to end with this Happy New Year’s pray for you from, Early Writings page 58.2

“My dear brethren and sisters, let the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ be in your minds continually and let them crowd out worldly thoughts and cares. When you lie down and when you rise up, let them be your meditation. Live and act wholly in reference to the coming of the Son of man. The sealing time is very short, and will soon be over. Now is the time, while the four angels are holding the four winds, to make our calling and election sure.”

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