“START it Right” – January 8, 2018

One of the new things that came to Iloilo City in recent years is the traffic lights. The installation of traffic lights in key intersections helped motorists developed discipline and patience. Our two children would always observe the behavior of motorists — if they follow the traffic lights or not. One day, their astute observation of motorists not following the stop light in Jaro, Sambag area produced a question: Can these parents who violated the traffic lights honestly tell their children to obey them? It is a difficult question that we need to answer — can violators have a moral ascendancy to tell their children to follow the rules and regulations? I was glad that I stopped in the red light that time, and their question has always been in my mind ever since.

How can we START this new year right?

We need to have a:

S – Sense of what is right and wrong. We need to instill this sense to our children if we aspire to have a better future. The Bible should be the source of our ethics.

T – Trustworthy model. Be it good or bad, we mimic the actions of our elders, and leaders. This is why we need to have the best model whom we will pattern our lives. And that best model is Jesus Christ. Let us be like Paul who said, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ.”

We also need to:

A – Allow the Holy Spirit to convict us of our sins. Starting the new year right also means making a confession. Let us confess to God by naming our sins. The power of a specific sin is weakened when we name it in our confession. Ultimately, by the mercy of God, that sin will have no power over you.

R – Release forgiveness. If we do not forgive, we become bitter. Bitterness has a way of robbing us of happiness. Life is too short to treasure hatred in our hearts. Your life will even become shorter if you continue on hating others. Jesus has taught us about forgiveness. Amidst his suffering in the cross Jesus said, “Father forgive them…”

T – Tell others about Jesus. When we have good news like birthdays, anniversaries, passing an exam, getting married or being promoted, we see to it that we tell others. How about receiving salvation? This good news trumps all good news out there. It should be a joy to tell the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ.

I pray that we will start our new year right.

Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on
January 8, 2018

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