And now, in peace of heart, say with Paul, “I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord!” Lord, it is enough! Never separated from Thyself for one moment in our existence, here or anywhere, we can never be separated from the chief object of our affections, from Him who is the fulness of our whole being, the never-failing source of our blessedness and joy. Believing in Thee our Father, we enter another year, and advance along our endless journey, not knowing what a day or an hour may bring forth; but knowing this, as all we care to know, that during every day and hour we are “continually with Thee.” A long life on earth may be ours, but neither its labours nor its cares, its temptations nor its trials, shall be able to destroy our peace, because unable to separate us from Thy love. Thy love will give life to every duty, deliverance from every temptation, guidance in every perplexity, and comfort in every trial. Death may come, in what form or in what circumstances, how soon or how late, we cannot tell; but we fear no evil, however dark its shadow, for “Thou art with us.” Eternity must come, and may come to us ere the year ends. But whatever things beyond the grave are hidden from us, Thou Thyself, our Father, art revealed! We know Thee, and this is life eternal!
ADVICES ON ENTERING A NEW YEAR.
1. Let a short portion of time be spent each day this year in private prayer, in reading God’s Word, and, if possible, some devotional book.
2. Let it be the great work of the year to become better acquainted personally with Jesus Christ as the living and ever-present Friend, Brother, and Saviour.
3. Endeavour to concentrate your efforts to do good upon some definite unselfish work in your family or out of it, which may help others, as it certainly must help yourself.
4. In all things try to live more towards God, seeking His approval of your inner and outer life. The less you talk about yourself or your doings before men, the better for yourself and for them.
5. Aim this year at being a peacemaker between professing Christians; to allay disputes, and to heal breaches among friends and relations; and to make men respect and esteem each other more.
6. Do not leave behind you in the old year guilt unpardoned, but believe in Jesus for the remission of sins; nor enter a new year with sin loved and cherished, but accept of and rely upon His Spirit to sanctify you. Begin the year without enmity to any man on earth, “forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, even so do ye.”
7. If you are the head of the house, resolve to read a portion of God’s Word once a-day at least to the family; and either read or offer up, always with them, a short but hearty prayer.