As we enter a New Year, it is good for each of us to pause and reflect, take some time to be grateful for all the blessings received during the past year, and also take time to forgive old hurts and misunderstandings.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”Psalm 51:10
Whatever has happened in the past year, the New Year brings each of us fresh beginnings and new promise of the future as we seek the Lord Jesus for greater zeal, strength and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
I once read a story about a farmer, and thought it would be good to share it with our brothers and sisters in Christ as we continue to live out our community way of life in 2024.
There was once a farmer who grew award-winning corn. Each year he entered his corn in the state fair where it won first prize. One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and asked him what his strategy was for growing award-winning corn. The farmer replied that it was quite simple – every year he made a habit of sharing his seed corn with his neighbours. “How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbours, when each year they are entering corn in competition with yours?” the reporter asked. “Why” said the farmer, “don’t you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn, and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbours grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbours grow good corn.”
The story is a lesson for each of us: if we are to grow good corn, we must help our neighbours grow good corn. If we are to grow as a community of mature Christians, we must generously share what we have. We reap what we give.
As the Bible reminds us in the First Letter of Peter,
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others.”1 Peter 4:10
Every single one of us without exception has received a grace-given gift from God. Embrace what God has placed within you. Take ownership of it, and do your best to use that special gift to meet the needs of one another. God has entrusted a lot to you by placing these special gifts in your life, and He is depending on you to be faithful with this great responsibility.
I encourage each of us to:
- Look up to the Lord Jesus for strength and direction. He gives us his Holy Spirit to guide us.
- Look down as we keep our feet firmly on the ground. Each of us are called to be HIS witnesses.
- Look to our right and left and see how and where we can share our talents, time and treasure.
Are you ready for such a time as this? May this new year 2024 bring a new fervour, new desire, new passion and a new zeal to be a new witness of His grace and mercy.
I pray this new year 2024 we will all make our relationship with JESUS our number one priority. Scripture states,
“God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”Hebrews 11:6
May we generously share our time, talents and treasure and in doing so experience the goodness of God upon our lives. Happy New Year 2024 to you and your dear families. Much love and blessings.
This article by Harry Lowe was first published in The Lamb of God Chronicle Newsletter, January 2024 edition. Used with permission.
Top photo credit: image of open hands filled with abundant grains of wheat, from Bigstock.com, © by Kirill Gorshkov, stock photo ID: 465205167. Used with permission.
Henry Lowe, and his wife Maureen, and their daughter Lukanne, have been members of the Lamb of God Community in New Zealand for over 29 years. Henry serves as a leader of the Auckland Branch and on the national executive team for the Lamb of God.