Thanks be to God for all of His blessings and for all of the wonderful events we had for the last couple of weeks!
It was just last week, April 1-3, 2016, when the Church of God International celebrated the feast dedicated to the Lord and not to any other. Those three days of International Thanksgiving were truly a blessing for all of the brethren and to everyone who attended. Three different and God-inspired topics were discussed. My favorite one was about God’s Name, the Father, which was the first time I heard of it. No other churches have thought such wisdom about God’s name and I thank God from the bottom of my heart that He let it be known to His Church!
After a week, we now celebrate the 5776th Christian New Year which is also based on the Hebrew Calendar.
Exodus 12: 1-2
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you.
This is the same New Year celebrated by Christ and the early Christians. This is the same New Year Christians in our time should also celebrate if we are His followers. This is the New Year God the Father had declared to be the start and end of each year.
New Years in other calendars, namely Chinese New Year, Hindi New Year, Islam New Year, and of course the world celebrated Roman Calendar’s New Year which everyone knows about, all have different dates. But are they inspired by the Christian God? They aren’t. If there is a New Year Christians should celebrate, it should be the New Year which begun when Moises and the first Church of God where freed from Egypt.
Most people also celebrate New Year by having Fireworks display, drinking, and partying. This kind of New Year celebration often leads to dangers, accidents, chaos, and casualties showing that such celebration is not God inspired.
James 3: 15-16
This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.
The verse shows that where there is disorder and chaos, it is surely earthly and not from above. Unlike other ways of celebrating the New Year, Christians should celebrate it with prayers and thanksgiving to God, rejoicing for another year He had given.
I thank God for this heavenly wisdom given to us and for the, you can say “mind-blowing” teachings, which you can’t get anywhere, not even from the top universities on Earth! No other institution reveals this kind of knowledge when it comes to spirituality. And for me personally, I thank God because even though I have a lot of shortcomings and I’m not worthy, He had given me a chance to learn such knowledge only a few people on Earth knows. And I do feel His love and compassion everyday. I pray that He never let go of my hand until the end and that He helps me in all of my weaknesses that I may achieve my ultimate goal: to be with Him in eternal life. That’s my dream.
I also thank God because in addition to the celebration of the Christian New Year, He had also given another year of service in Christ to our dear preacher. Happy 52nd Birthday in the Spirit Bro. Eli! May God be with you always in times of joys and especially in times of hardships and sorrows when the world seems to go against you. Though you are the most slandered person on Earth with their lies and evil works, you are blessed and may God continue to bless you.
I couldn’t help but cry when the whole brotherhood sang “Salamat sa Dios sa isang katulad mo” (In English: Thank God for there is someone like you). I know how hard Bro. Eli’s situation is. Though he is speaking the truth, he is maligned in several ways for so many years. But with God’s help, he continues to do what is right and preach what is right. Even with his old age, he does not stop preaching his favorite subject: God’s word, and his schedule for Bible Expositions, church gatherings, etc are incredibly hectic and exhausting for someone his age and with his situation. I do pray that God always protects him and keep him away from harm, that he may always find joy in serving God despite the depressing and stressful life other people who maligns him gives him. And we all hope that if God permits, he would still be with us until the day Christ comes.
Lastly, I thank God for being given the opportunity to meet and sing with my fellow choir friends again! What a wonderful way to start the year!
And with that, again, Happy New Year to all the Christians and may we live to celebrate more if God permits. All the honor, the power, and glory be unto God forever!