The kind of devotion that God delights in comes about when a person finds security in the pure, unselfish love of God. We don’t find our security or our value from the rules we obey or the way we live. But in the love of God, we know that there is nothing we can do to make Him love us more or less—He just loves us!
As disciples, we find not some, but all of our strength, hope, courage, and confidence in God. Therefore, prayer must be our first concern.
Do not strive in your own strength; cast yourself at the feet of the Lord Jesus, and wait upon Him in the sure confidence that He is with you, and works in you. Strive in prayer; let faith fill your heart–so will you be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.
I do not advise that we end the year on a somber note. The march, not the dirge, has ever been the music of Christianity. If we are good students in the school of life, there is much that the years have to teach us. But the Christian is more than a student, more than a philosopher. He is a believer, and the object of his faith makes the difference, the mighty difference. Of all persons the Christian should be best prepared for whatever the New Year brings. He has dealt with life at its source. In Christ he has disposed of a thousand enemies that other men must face alone and unprepared. He can face his tomorrow cheerful and unafraid because yesterday he turned his feet into the ways of peace and today he lives in God. The man who has made God his dwelling place will always have a safe habitation.
Seeing that distance and distrust will do nothing for you, try what drawing near and confidence will do.
When you stand before His gate, knock loudly and boldly. Do not knock as a beggar knocks, but as one who belongs to the house. Not as a vagabond, who is afraid of the police, but as a friend and an intimate acquaintance. Not as one who is apprehensive of being troublesome, or of coming at an improper time, but as a guest who may rest assured of a hearty welcome.
A wise man has said: “Only a Christian can live wholly in the present, for to him the past is pardoned and the future is safe in God.” The past is pardoned: the Christian life must be a life without regrets, without remorse. If you have made a decision, and you still feel, taking it all in all, it was the right one, then don’t look over your shoulder on what might have been. If it was wrong, ask for forgiveness and accept the present consequences, happily and without remorse. Nothing is more corrosive of the powers you should be using to meet the present.
Sometime when you’re in an airport, observe the difference between passengers who hold confirmed tickets and those who are on standby. The ones with confirmed tickets read newspapers, chat with their friends or sleep. The ones on standby hang around the ticket counter, pace and smoke, smoke and pace. The difference is caused by the confidence factor. If you knew that in fifteen minutes you would have to stand in judgment before the Holy God and learn your eternal destiny, what would your reaction be? Would you smoke and pace? Would you say to yourself, “I don’t know what God’s going to say – will it be ‘Welcome home, child,’ or will it be ‘Depart from me; I never knew you’?