Life is full of new beginnings. There are some beginnings which are silently projected into the world scene. There are other beginnings which are greeted with fanfare, foundation stones, bunting and jubilation.
We celebrate the birth of a baby, a wedding day, the opening of a new factory, the launching of a new ship, the inauguration of a new government and so on.
What is new universally to everyone in the world is the birth of a new year. Many people celebrate it variously and no one can be unaware of it. But to nearly everyone the newness of the new year vanishes pretty fast. Though the old problems still exist, the old diseases still persist, the old tempers still rage and the old heart-aches still cloud the life of many, yet we all like to celebrate the beginning of the new year. But the jubilation and rejoicing die out very fast indeed.
The bunting and the decorations are removed and life returns to its old grind. The guests are gone, the dishes are removed, but the tears remain.
The Lord Jesus Christ stands in the midst of these hollow celebrations and says, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending” (Rev. 1:8). Yes, when we begin with the Lord Jesus Christ by repenting of our sins and becoming His disciples, life takes on a new and a great meaning.
During the first part of our life we all like to pretend that we are grown-ups and cannot wait to be eighteen; for the second part, we wish vainly that we can return to the days of youth. How many there are who actually say, “I cannot laugh.” Others say: “What is the point of existing cheerlessly?” So a new year only brings with it added new problems to many people, new tensions and fears.
It is hard to see how people manage to live without Christ. There is a greyness and a darkness and insecurity and fatalism in their lives which makes their life either a boring one or one with unseen terrors.
I do not know how many of you who are my regular readers have put the matter beyond all doubt—you have repented of your sins and have made the Lord Jesus Christ the Lord over your whole life. To you then life is truly beginning, a life free from greed, impurity and lust. A life of love and unselfishness and service. That is the life into which the Lord Jesus is now leading you. HE will never leave you nor forsake you; that is His promised Word.
The Lord Jesus Christ is not a dogma, a theory, a thin wisp of air, a disproportionally blown-up figure of history, adulated more because of tradition than anything else. No, He is a glorious person. He not only died for our sins but He [also] rose again to make you and me forever free from the fear of death. When we believe in the Lord Jesus and bring our sins to His feet and are forgiven, the new life which He gives makes each new day a glorious adventure. There are so many things He wants to teach you and give you. Above everything, He wants to melt you and mould your character in order that you may live like Him. . . . [W]hen your life is hidden in Jesus, you can say, “The best is yet to be.”
The more I taste of the Lord, one thing is absolutely certain to me: I am just in the shallow waters of a mighty sea of matchless love and beauty. Every day as you study the Bible, you will discover new riches for yourself, new hopes and heart-cries come to you, fresh anticipations of greater joys, victories and soul-winning will burst on your heart. To the one who has given himself wholly to Jesus, there is no more existing, no more drifting, but only one abundant living.
No, my dear reader, there can be no ending without the Lord Jesus being present with you. [If] it is the evening of life, when life appears to ebb away slowly or some sickness appears to threaten your well-being, know this, the ending is Jesus. He is there to lead you to the mansions above, to give you the place prepared for you in glory. You will very likely feel like you have left a dingy, putrid, polluted, pestilent hole, to enter a matchless dwelling of exquisite splendour. So while the world is full of apprehension and dread, we are full of hope and joy.
Let us ask the Lord for a mighty wave of revival blessing and He will give it to us. I want you, dear reader, to be a sharer in this great blessing of revival and in this advancing work given to us to do in many nations.
SI Moderator - Greg