Close the Gate
If the Lord tarries, we are about to close out this year and begin another. Are you relieved to get through this past year? Are you looking forward to another year? Or, are you experiencing some apprehension as you face the New Year?
Dr. Harold J. Sala suggests that “generally, the reason we fear the future is that we have not made peace with the past. Failures haunt us and we wonder if the future may be but a rerun of yesterday.” Then in his article entitled “The Year’s End,” he shares this insightful story:
“Lloyd George, the British Prime Minister, was playing golf with a friend on one occasion when they went through a fence. His partner pushed the gate closed but did not bother to latch it; yet George, seeing the failure, went back and secured the gate. Then George told of an old doctor friend who lay dying. After calling his family and friends to his bedside, he gave these parting words, "Close every gate through which you have passed." Lloyd George went on to say that he owed more to that bit of wisdom than to anything else he had ever heard.” *
“Close every gate.” That is a bit of good counsel. We certainly need to “close the gate” on yesterday’s failures. How do we do that?
It will require two things: God’s forgiveness and our acceptance of it.
Even though we have sinned and continue to fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), God loves us and has provided the Means for our salvation. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Jesus, God’s Son, died on the cross to pay the price for our redemption from sin. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).
God has made the provision for our salvation from sin through the death of His Son. In order to enjoy the forgiveness of our sins and receive the gift of eternal life, we must accept His offer on His terms.
God will save and give eternal life to those who place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). He will continue to cleanse from sin those who continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7).
Do you want to face the New Year (and the rest of your days, however many that will be) with confidence and assurance? Then “close the gate” on yesterday’s failures by accepting God’s forgiveness on His terms. Then, seek to walk in the light of God’s Word knowing that God keeps His promises and that a glorious future awaits the faithful child of God.
-- David A. Sargent
* From “The Year’s End” by Dr. Harold J. Sala in www.guidelines.org