At the end of each year, the media gives special recognition to people and events that made headlines or news in the 12 months. This is pegged on either their extraordinary actions or the positive impact their activities had on society.
When setting yourself to succeed the scripture says, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17)
For you to be successful you need to commit to certain things and walk wisely with the understanding of the signs of the times. First, know that your time on earth is limited. The Psalmist prays, “Lord, make me know my end and the measure of my days; so that I may know how frail I am” (Psalm 39:4).
He further observes that the days of our lives are seventy years and if by reason of strength, they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off and we fly away. Develop a heart of wisdom to know that time is precious, valuable and short to be wasted. Apostle David Owusu says, “Be picky with who you invest your time. Wasted time is worse than wasted money.”
Second, make the most of every opportunity. Learn to make the most of the opportunities God grants you because the days are evil. Satan is a thief who tries to get us engaged in sinful activities that waste our time. This is a time that we could be doing productive activities that glorify God. Many times we also get busy with the cares of this world and forget that what counts is pursuing the things that have eternal value.
Third, forget your failures. Forget those things that are behind and reach forward to those things that are ahead. Press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. All of us have a past that is unpleasant and have failed many times; unfortunately, most people tend to keep these records in their hearts. Stop torturing yourself with painful memories of failed relationships or wrong decisions. Let bygones be bygones and focus on what lies ahead!
Fourth, give up long-held grudges. A grudge is a deep ongoing resentment that we cultivate in our hearts against someone. It is an unforgiving spirit that leads to wrong attitudes and actions. Harbouring a grudge is dangerous and destructive physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Scriptures admonish us to bear with and forgive one another. If anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. Grudges are known to trigger psychosomatic diseases - those that plague the physical body but have an emotional origin. These include stomach ulcers, high blood pressure, arthritis and some types of cancers.
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Fifth, restore your relationships. Apostle Paul wrote, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:18-19). There are some relationships that you may not be in a position to restore; however, do all that you can to restore them whenever it is possible.
Many relationships would be maintained if only one party said, “I was wrong, I am sorry, please forgive me.” God created us to be relational and so we need each other. American Televangelist Robert Schuler says, “It would amaze us how many people we could influence for Christ if we would just treat people nicely.” Rise to the occasion and make a commitment to restore your broken relationship(s)!
Finally, turn your back on sin. Do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey in its lusts. Sin should not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law but under grace. You are no longer a slave to sin because you are a child of God. Therefore, you must lay aside every weight and sin that so easily ensnares you; and run with endurance the race that is set before you.
When most people get born again, they give up certain sins easily but there are others that are hard to quit. They grapple with and give in to sin so often that they live a double life. Your spiritual life could be crippled because you have chosen to give in to a besetting sin.
Is it a short temper that constantly puts you in trouble? Is it a loose tongue that loves to assassinate people’s character? Is it secretly logging on to pornographic sites? Is it a sexual sin? The death of Jesus on the cross broke the power of sin and the Holy Spirit will give you power to resist it.
Bishop David Muriithi Founder & Overseer House of Grace International Ministries