With the end of another year upon us and 2019 winding down fast, it’s a great time to reflect on the events of the year thus far. The last four months of the year are the “ember” months – that is, SeptEMBER, OctoBER, NovEMBER and DecEMBER. During this period, churches in many parts of the world celebrate thanksgiving and offer thanks to God for His bountiful provision of food and the harvest of crops. All this leads up to Christmas when we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ in December. The dying embers of the year provide a perfect opportunity for us to do the following.
REMEMBER (that is, to bring back to mind) the faithfulness of God. This year like never before, I have come to see that God can be counted upon. He is faithful, dependable, unchangeable and trustworthy. Every test and trial we made it through was another demonstration of the faithfulness of God; He was there to strengthen and guide when we needed Him the most. 21 This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. 22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassion fail not. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. 24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” Lamentations 3:21-24 NKJV
REFLECT (that is, to think carefully) on the promises of God. There are many things I don’t know, many things I don’t understand, and many things I still want to see. That’s exactly why I lean harder on, and press closer into, the eternal promises of God – the more sure word of prophecy that will outlast everyone and everything (2 Peter 1:19).
RENDER (that is, to give something to someone) thanks for the provision of God. The Lord has done so much for me, I cannot tell it all, and so I overflow with thanksgiving and offer up my praise! As we count our blessings and name them one by one, we must never forget the greatest blessing and gift of all, Jesus! The number one thing to thank God for is the gift of His son. Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name. Hebrews 13:15 AMPC
Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift, Jesus – God’s Christmas gift to us that keeps on giving every day and every year. What was so significant about the birth of Jesus and what makes it so special?
GOD LOVES ME AND YOU. He loves us so much that He gave His Son. Love compelled Him to make the provision to remedy our wrong and fix our sin problem that Adam and Eve created in the Garden of Eden. He didn’t love us from afar, rather He drew near, came down personally from heaven to identify with us, feel what we feel, then show us the way back to the bosom of the Father. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16 NKJV
A PROMISE MADE IS A PROMISE KEPT. We can count on God to keep His word, even if it takes millennia to come to pass. Beginning with Genesis 3:15, every single one of the many Old Testament scriptures prophesying the birth and ministry of Jesus the Messiah were fulfilled in the fullness of God’s time. God promised a remedy for sin, He promised a Redeemer and He kept His word!
This gives us hope and comfort that all the promises of God in Christ are yes and amen (2 Corinthians 1:20). I can confidently stand on His Word for every area of my life. What a blessed note on which to end the year – secure in the love of my Father, the gift of my Saviour and the blessed assurance of a God-provided future. Thank you, Lord for Jesus!
REV. TOYIN OKUTINYANG graduated from Rhema Bible Training Centre, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, USA. She currently serves in Rhema Bible Training Center Nigeria, as the Lagos Campus Coordinator, while also teaching across the other Nigerian campuses. She and Rev. Inyang Okutinyang have been joyfully married for almost 30 years and have been blessed with a son and two daughters who are their pride and joy