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Opinions of Monday, 1 January 2018

Columnist: Akpene Sabah

Letter to christians

Dearly beloved,

All l too soon the year 2017 has come to a grinding halt. A matter of days and it is all gone, never to be seen again- the days and months of 2017. It is at moments like these, that a lot of us pause to reflect on how we have lived through the year. We reflect on events, happenings and achievements that have come our way. Good or bad? So long as we are in Christ, everything will work together for our good because we love the Lord and are called according to his purpose! Amen.

As the year ends, I would love to leave with you a letter from another brother in Christ highlighting on these scriptures to end the year 2017 and start the year 2018. Until then, I wish you God’s speed!

“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
(Revelation 4:11)

“And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.”
(Revelation 5:11-13)

“To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.” “Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God? Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” ( Isaiah 40:25-31)

“But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:36-38)

May the Lord grant you a blessed New Year! As I typed the previous greeting, my mind wondered, “What would make this coming year more blessed for me and those whom I’m writing?” How we answer that question will reveal what is really important to us. Our answer will reflect whether we think of blessings in God’s terms or our terms. If we seek the blessings of life without seeking the Giver of blessings, we make the blessings an idol that comes before God. We must guard our hearts from seeking some possession, position, or person that we think is necessary to bring blessing and happiness. Anything or anyone that we put before God becomes an idol. We would do well to start the year out in self examination by asking this question: “Is there something or someone in my life that is more important than God?” Whatever it is is your idol!

I believe that having lives truly blessed of God will require us to acknowledge our idols, pull them down, and cast them out of our hearts. Then we need a growing and deepening knowledge of our God by seeking Him diligently through His natural revelation (His creation) and His special revelation (the Scriptures). Paul’s prayer for the believers at Ephesus reveals our need for knowing God:

Eph 1:16-21, “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come” (emphasis added).

Will you pray this prayer for yourself and others? Can we really go another year without becoming more serious about seeking God? We have not because we ask not!

For the past few years I have been seeking to know God better by searching the Scriptures and writing on the theme “God Is”. The Bible is replete with verses and passages that tell us about who God is and how we can relate with Him. My theme verse for the devotionals is Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (emphasis added).

May this coming year be filled with adventure in diligently seeking to know God! Will you join me in a quest to know God more fully and intimately as you seek Him? We can find our greatest satisfaction, pleasure, and fulfillment in Him and Him alone! May “grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord” (2 Peter 1:2).

Blessing to you in the coming New Year!

Sincerely in Christ,

Mark.



The Saving Grace

…with Akpene Sabah