Summary: A Biblical prescription for God’s blessings in the New Year.
HOW TO HAVE A PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR
Joshua 1:6-9 “Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moss my servant commanded thee:- turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of they mouth: but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make they way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
The context of this passage is very familiar. Joshua and the people of God stand on the very verge of Jordan ready to enter into the promised land. A whole new generation is about to venture into what is to them the unknown. But clearly their future is already known to God and their success or failure is predictable. Although it is His heart’s desire is to bless them in the new land, His blessings will be conditional. They must meet some very basic criteria of they are to live victoriously in the days ahead. If they meet these conditions they are promised physical and spiritual prosperity and good success.
Can we just as surely expect success? What is success as a Christian? How can it be achieved? His God given us a formula or a set of Godly guidelines to ensure we can prosper and be successful Christians in the days and weeks ahead?
In recent years there has been a plethora of publications purporting to present a sure fire plan for prosperity and success. The central theme of all these seems to be that life is very simple and all we have to do to succeed in life is to follow a few basic and simple rules that everyone else seems to overlook. We have books on how to win friends and influence others or how to become a millionaire in so many easy lessons. But someone has said the simplest way to be come successful is to write a book about" how to" that will be gobbled up by the millions of insecure people in the world who seem to be always saying there must be more to life than this. These same masses are those who also seem to equate success with sensual pleasure, financial prosperity, worldly prominence and personal popularity.
But our subject deals with more practical things today. The theme might be stated as, "How to succeed as a Christian without really trying." The statement of this proposition brings two questions immediately to mind. First, "What is a successful Christian?" Second, "How can you do anything, without trying."
For the sake of definition, we will assume that we Christians view the successful Christian life as that life which is wholly and completely within the will of God. That life which coincides more nearly with the standard God gives us in His written Word that reflects the Living Word. The life referred to by Paul and John could correctly be assumed to be that life. "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, [so] walk ye in him:." (Col. 2:6) "For me to live is Christ.." (Phil. 1:21) "He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." (I John 2:6) The successful Christian life would be what the word Christian implies, "A life like Jesus’ life."
Second, we will also assume that Christians accept the proposition that there is nothing lasting we can do that will be worthwhile both here and in eternity, outside the guidance and power of the Spirit of God. We will also assume that the very essence of faith is the idea of an absolute trust and reliance upon the Spirit of God. Not only to save us eternally, but to powerfully and spiritually enable any effort that is acceptable and worthwhile in God’s service. In light of these givens, trying in the ordinary sense of that term, would be precluded if we are to seek real and lasting spiritual prosperity. Based upon these principles our life becomes harmonious with the life of Christ; inasmuch as such a life is designed to glorify God our Father.
Here are some keys to be a success as a Christian without really trying. These keys come from the most valuable and best selling book of all times. Notice each key is introduced with the phrase, "Let God.."
LET GOD SAVE YOU. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation. The Holy Spirit’s ministry is focused upon convicting and wooing the lost and pointing them to Jesus Christ. Jesus said, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all [men] unto me." John 12:32) And, "And when he (the Holy Spirit) is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:" (John 16:8) Anyone wishing to succeed in this life and the life to come must abandon the concept of self-help as taught in most of the world’s philosophies and religions. They must let go and let God do the saving.