The End of a Year

A Time for Reflection

Is there any better time for reflection than the end of a year? In less than three weeks the year 2013 will be history. We are one year closer to the time of our death and one year closer to determining where we will spend eternity. Consider the following thoughts which seem so timely as this year comes to a close.

Are you numbering your days? This question comes from a consideration of Psalm 90. “The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years . . . so teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” So many fail to sense the reality of their coming death. It may be hard for someone at 25 to think they have lived a third of their lives or someone at 35 to understand they have lived half of theirs, but as this year comes to a close, count the days you have left!

Have you forgotten His grace? The end of a year provides a time to look backward to where each of us has lived. There are no degrees of being lost. Each of us, in the past, was just as vile and lost as mass murders or child molesters. It is by His grace we live. Peter described what was happening in the lives of some Christians in his day. They had become Christians but had become barren and unfruitful and were spiritually blind. What had happened? What could cause a man to arrive at such a situation? He had “. . . forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sin” (2 Pet. 1:8-9). When we glory in our own “goodness” we lose sight of His. Have you forgotten His grace?

Have you buried the past? Obviously, one can never forget the past, but far too many live in guilt and have the lowest self-esteem. We must learn to live in the present and let God deal with what has passed. He has forgotten it and so must we. Paul described himself as the chief of sinners (1 Tim. 1:15), who had become what he was by God’s grace (1 Cor. 15:10). Look at this principle by which he lived: “But one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those thing which are ahead, I press toward the goal . . .” (Phil. 3:13-14). A new year awaits each of us. The old one must be forgotten, for there is a new year before us with greater opportunities and challenges!

You alone will determine what kind of year you will have in 2014. A precious brother (Harold Pack) told me when he awoke each day he had a decision to make. “Will I have a good day or a bad one? I may have headaches and pain, but I can have the best headache day I could possibly have.” Apply that to 2014. It will likely have adversity, but your attitude towards problems determines if the year will be a good year or bad one!

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