THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE WAY FORWARD IN CHRIST
LOOKING TO THE NEW YEAR
Today’s reading: 1 John 2:12-17
A new year will soon be upon us. As is the case with many,
the start of a new year is time for New Year’s resolutions.
What can we do better in the coming year? Whatever it is,
the basic focus should be on the Lord and not on the world.
These are the two choices we always have before us - God and
mammon, spiritual and sensual, sacred and profane, life and
death, salvation and damnation.
many people, including Christians, are enamored by the world.
They seek the things of the worldmoney, power, influence,
success, prominence. While these can have a place in the life
of a Christian, we must be careful that our lives are not
dominated by them. The world can easily separate us from the
love of God.
so we are cautioned: “Do not love the world or the things
of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father
is not in him.” (v.15). What is “in the world”
(v.16a)? What is “not from the Father but is from the
“sensual lust” (v.16b). This is the lust of the
flesh. It is inordinate desire for physical gratification.
It manifests itself mainly in the area of sexuality, but can
also be present in any type of bodily gratification, such
as with food, drink, drugs. What is the antidote? It is the
quest for holiness. It is chastity and living pure.
“enticement for the eyes” (v.16c). This is the
lust of the eyes. It is greed or covetousness. It is wanting
more and more, way beyond one’s needs. It is being envious
of others who have more than we do. What is the antidote?
It is simplicity of lifestyle and sharing of resources with
others, especially the poor. It is poverty in spirit.
“a pretentious life” (v.16d). This is the pride
of life. It is arrogance or ostentation in one’s earthly
lifestyle. It is flaunting one’s wealth, power or position.
It reflects a willful independence from God. It is dependence
on self. It is charting one’s own path in life, without
reference to God’s will. What is the antidote? It is
humble servanthood. It is obedience to God.
year will pass away. A new year comes. Then that year will
pass away too. We inch forward to the end of time. Each year
then is an opportunity to grow in Christ. That entails having
less and less of the world, and more and more of the Lord.
“Yet the world and its enticement are passing away.
But whoever does the will of God remains forever.” (v.17).