SCRIPTURE: Philippians 3: Verse 13
This is another New Year the Lord has made, the first day of 2017. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. 2016 has gone and will never pass this way again.
At dawn of 2016, many of us made resolutions: to turn a new page, to change our lives and to start a new life, but we quickly broke all of our resolutions and returned to our old ways because we tried to keep our promises by our own volition, strength, and power. We did not know that it is not by might, nor by power but by His Spirit said the Lord.
Some of us also failed to keep our promises because we looked back at the old page instead of getting rid of the old leaf. Looking back is sure to end in going back. We should not look back upon and long and desire earthly and worldly things like Lot’s wife. Lot’s wife looked back from behind him and she became a pillar of salt. (Gen. 19: 26) We should denounce, disregard and count the things of this world as lost for Christ and to labour and work in the vineyard of the Lord.
Having put our hands to the plough, we do not look back, nor desist, but reach out unto those things that are in Christ. Jesus said: “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. (Luke 9: 62)
God commanded the Israelites to go forward, not to look back, and see the salvation of the Lord. They looked back and hungered after the fleshpots in Egypt and, as a consequence, they wandered in the wilderness for generations before reaching the land of Canaan.
St. Paul counsels us to forget the things which are behind us: our failures, shortcomings, mistakes, the works of the flesh and the sins of the past were all forgiven and forgotten by the Grace of God, by the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
Paul also beseeches us to reach forth, stretch forward towards those things which are before us: knowledge of the Word of God, gifts of the Spirit, fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. We are to earnestly engage our thoughts, desires, affections, time and labour toward the goal, the end mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Paul further exhorts us to pursue those things which are before us like runners in a foot race; the runners do not stop to look behind them to see how far others are behind, they look and move their hands and feet with their bodies forward, stretch themselves out to the fullest, run with all their might and energy and press toward the mark before them for the prize of an incorruptible crown, a crown of righteousness, a crown of glory and life that never fades away. (1 Pet. 5: 4)
In 2017, let us also run the race physically and spiritually as fast as we can, never stopping short of the goal with Heaven in sight to receive our prize of eternal life.
Happy New Year/Prospero Ano Nuevo