Another year is history. From now on the year 1963 and its events will sink farther and farther into the hoary past. This will be whether we like it or not. For many of us it was a year of joy and accomplishment. For many others it was not. Some graduated from High School or College, and 1963 is the year during which they entered upon their life’s work. For these and many other reasons 1963 was a year of happiness for many. But for others, the Lord made it not so. A year of hardship, of personal tragedy, of heartache, of grief and deep sadness, 1963 proved to be for many.
What must be our attitude as we begin another year? Do we stand in fear at what 1964 might bring? Are we filled with a false sense of security? Neither extreme should characterize our living; not if we are walking in the way of faith. By faith we know that whatever befalls us in 1964 will come from the loving hand of our Father in heaven. All of the events of 1964 will be for our good and for our salvation. Certainly, this faith must underlie our attitude toward the year just begun.
We do well, then, to turn to God’s Word to see what He has to say to us concerning the new year. The Apostle Paul tells us in his epistle to the Romans, chapter 13, verse 11: “…it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” My dear young friend, are you awake? Do you know what is going on? Do you know what it means that another year is begun? Or are you oblivious to all of this and sound asleep?
Always at this time of the year we are reminded of the passing of time, of the fact that we are always moving out of the past into the future. But what does this mean for you and me? It means this: we must be awake and not asleep because our salvation is nearer. That 1963 is gone means that the day when our Lord shall come again is one year nearer. Paul tells us to be awake!
The Christian is further enjoined to put off the things of darkness and put on the amour of light. He must walk honestly as in the day. He must put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make not provision for the flesh (verses 12-14). No, Paul did not mean by this last that we must forget about making a living and wait for Christ to come. He does not mean that we ought to seek the highest mountain and look for Jesus. But he did mean that we may not make provision to fulfill the lusts of the flesh.
Yes, it is high time to awake and be busy with the things of the Lord. Put away the works of darkness. Know that Christ is coming and be busy with all of your powers in the things of the kingdom. Seek its advancement and let us let all of our actions be with a view to the advancement of the cause of Christ.
Then 1964 will be blessed, then we shall have a profitable year.