Wed | Jan 23, 2019

2019 and beyond - how to make it through

Published:Saturday | January 12, 2019 | 12:00 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer

Manchester, Jamaica:

We are just two weeks into the first month of the new year, and already, people are beginning to execute some of the plans they had made for 2019. But what is a plan and realisation of that plan without God at the centre of it?

The first elder of the Campbell's Castle Seventh-day Adventist Church, Cecile Forbes, in delivering the first message of the year, said that if we must survive and more important, thrive, we have to seek help and, we can only get that help, from God Himself.

 

Focus on a life of prayer

 

'If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land' - 2 Chronicles 7:14.

"The life of an overcomer is a life of prayer. This is prayer that lives and breathes in the presence of God - prayer uttered and unuttered in the midst of our daily care. The first thing that we are to do when we awaken is to have personal devotion," Forbes stated.

She added that true followers of Christ must study the word of God to be able to live accordingly with the knowledge received.

"... We must study the word of God and learn its meanings and precepts, thus reaching the standards of Christian excellence. Day by day, God works with us, perfecting our character to stand in the time of final test."

But can we read the Bible and pray effectively without believing in the word and the power of these channels?

"What need do we have to read the Bible and pray without faith? Faith is the essence of the Christian life; it is the ultimate quality. All the secularism and materialism bond in power in enticing us to eat drink and be merry, but faith says no. God has made us for Himself. He has given us a job to do, and we must do it or perish. The whole world is filled with sinners, but Jesus will accept us and can cleanse all our sins if we surrender our lives to him."

Our Creator, she explained, has made so many sacrifices in a bid to give us a chance at eternal life. His only wish is that we obey him.

"Jesus was born in a manger that we might be born to life eternal. He became a part of the human family that we might be a part of the heavenly family. He lived in the midst of dust and poverty that we might live amid riches beyond description. He spent long nights in prayer that we might spend eternal ages in the presence of God. He went homeless that we might live in the mansions He is preparing for us."

Forbes ended by saying that if we continually watch unto prayer and do everything that we ought to, we will make it into the kingdom.

"Let us focus on a new beginning with Christ ... Live your life consciously, knowing that God is watching at all times. The more we tell others about the love of God, the more we will get the strength to fight the good fight until God returns. Let us continue to work for God. Let us not be for ourselves, but to share the good news and work until He comes."

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com