Some Thoughts for the New Year
By Ellen G. White
The old year, with its burden of record, is fast passing away. The new year, with all its possibilities, will soon be ushered in. What advancement have we made in the knowledge of Christ during the past year? Are we prepared to show, more decidedly than ever before, that we are on the Lord’s side? At this time, when the nations of the world are wavering between infidelity and idolatry, are we prepared to stand as faithful ambassadors for Christ? Shall we not, at the beginning of this new year, give ourselves and all we have to God? Shall we not listen to His voice, which calls us to a renewed contest, to a more thorough consecration of ourselves and our intrusted capabilities to His service?
To God we owe all we have and are. In Him we live and move and have our being. We have not been forgotten by Him. In His book each human being has a page, on which is recorded his whole history. Constantly and untiringly God is working for our happiness. The treasures which He has placed within our reach are numberless. “The Lord is good to all; and His tender mercies are over all His works. Thou openest Thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.” He is the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. The earth is full of His goodness. Creation proclaims, with myriad voice, the forbearance, love, and compassion of the Almighty.
Through all the ages God has manifested for the human race a love that is without a parallel. He so loved man that He bestowed on him a gift that defies computation. That the abundance of His grace might be revealed, He sent His only-begotten Son to our world, to live a man among men, to spend His life in the service of humanity. In our behalf the Son of the Infinite God was numbered with the transgressors. Christ was the channel through which the Father poured into the world the rich stream of His grace. God could not give less than the fulness, nor was it possible for Him to give more. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
God has made us His stewards. To every one He has given some talent, which is to be improved and returned to Him. Every one is the possessor of some trust. Time, intellect, reason, money, the tender ministry to which some are adapted,--these are the gifts of God. From the lowliest to the highest, all have been intrusted with the goods of heaven, and all are called upon to make a return to the Giver.
The first thing we are to do is to give ourselves to the Lord. Life, with its endowments and privileges, is God’s gift. Let us remember that it comes from God, and is to be wholly consecrated to Him. Let us say with Paul, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”
When we have given ourselves to God, we shall be willing to give Him what He has given us. All we have and are is to be laid at Christ’s feet. We have been bought with a price which can not be estimated, and we should count it a privilege to co-operate with God by denying self, by giving of our earthly possessions to make it possible for those in the darkness of error to hear the truth. Each soul saved is worth more than a world; for he is saved unto eternal life. Those who invest their means in this work double their talents.
Whether or not we give mind, soul, and strength to God, it all belongs to Him. God speaks to each human being, saying: “I have a claim on you. Give me your zeal, your capabilities, your energy, your means.” He has a right to ask this; for we are His, redeemed by His boundless love and by the agony of the cross of Calvary from the service of sin. On no account are we to devote our powers to self-serving. Day by day we are to return to the Lord that which He has intrusted to us. And we are to ask Him, not only for temporal blessings, but for spiritual gifts. He who asks in faith, believing that God will fulfil His word, and who acts in accordance with His prayer, doing God’s will in all things, will receive rich blessings from on high. And as he receives, he is to impart to those who need help.
From Signs of the Times, January 2, 1901.