When you greet someone Happy
New Year, what do you really wish for them?
What does Happy New Year mean to you?
“Happy New Year” greeting is usually
associated with health and wealth. We wish others happiness,
health and wealth. How many of us view this greeting as a state of blessedness when we come into a right relationship with God?
gospel and the doctrine of Bill Johnson (pastor of Bethel church, Redding, California)
emphasise a lot the former—that we have the right to be healthy and wealthy as
children of God. Their premise is that if we are living righteously, health and
wealth should also be ours.
in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5: 1-12), did Jesus mention about health and wealth
as something associated with a state of blessedness in God’s eyes? Answer: No.
contrast, Jesus teaches that blessed are those who are meek, merciful, pure in
heart, poor in spirit, mourn, hunger and thirst for righteousness, make peace and
remain strong amid persecution. Nothing related to health and wealth,
legitimate though these earthly concerns may be.
Happiness, health & wealth are overrated What, then, is that
state of blessedness which we must strive to attain as we enter the New Year?
we must get back to God. We need to confess our sins and repent. For blessed
are they whose sins are forgiven (Psalm 32:1). Unless we repent, we will also
perish like other sinners (Luke 13: 5).
we must live intentionally and seek God to determine what His specific will is
for us (Ephesians 5:15-17). We need to acknowledge that God’s wisdom is far
above our human understanding and commit our ways to Him (Proverbs 3:5-6, James
we must be good servants who look after the master’s household well (Matthew 24:
45-51). We need to emulate the good stewards who utilise and/or invest our God-given
gifts, talents and resources (Matthew 25: 14-30), unlike the one-talent man who
buried his talent.
we need to be watchful (not complacent) and make sure our lamps are filled with
sufficient oil, which a symbol of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 25: 1-13). This
means we need to be continually filled with the Spirit and choose to walk in the
Spirit and not gratify the desires of the flesh (Ephesians 5:18, Galatians
Well, not to sound too preachy and serious at the beginning of the year, I would
hasten to add that there is nothing wrong in greeting one another “Happy New
Year”—even if we mean that we wish them the traditional things like health,
wealth, happiness and success.
After all, we are all part of a community and “Happy New Year” is a socially acceptable
greeting akin to what the apostle John wrote: “Beloved, I pray that in all
respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers” (3
we greet our friends and relatives Happy New Year, we must not
lose our focus concerning that which is of paramount importance: Seek first His
kingdom, seek the things that are above.
first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to
you.” (Matthew 6:33)
if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ
is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on
the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with
Christ in God.”
a Happy and Blessed New Year!
GROWING IN GRACE
Receiving God’s grace is
merely the first step in the life of a believer. The difficult part is to
continue growing, keep ourselves in God’s love and live out our calling.