Tuesday 1 January 2019


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?

Prosperity 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.

But, 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.

In 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?

First, 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).

Second, 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 4:13-15).

Third, 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.

Fourth, 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 5:16).

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 John 2).

While 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.

“Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)

“Therefore 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.”
(Colossians 3:1-3)

Have a Happy and Blessed New Year! Shalom.


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.

To live soberly and purposefully during these perilous end times, we need to arm ourselves with wisdom and discernment.

Is it God’s will to heal His faithful believers always?

Does wealth equal genuine security? Does prosperity guarantee security?

The belief that Jesus was rich lends support to the prosperity gospel. But was Jesus truly rich when He walked upon the earth?

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