Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not just seven times, but seventy-seven times!
— Matthew 18:21,22, BSB
During the past year, Satan has been making most earnest effort to sow discord and dissension among brethren. Now, as the old year is passing away and the new year coming in, is a good time for those who have cherished alienation and bitterness to make confession to one another. “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.” This is the Lord’s direction; will we obey him, or choose to remain in pride, and justify our course of wrong? Oh! that many may seek to have the sins of the past year blotted out, and pardon written against their names in the heavenly record.
Mercy and love must be cherished by all who would be followers of Jesus… Remember that we shall be forgiven only as we forgive. Let all enmity, dissension, and bitterness die with the old year. Let kindness and brotherly and sisterly affection revive in our hearts. We may open the new year with a clean record. How happy the thought! Let us draw near to God “with a true heart in full assurance of faith,” that the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, may keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
All should take time for the daily study of the word of God, with earnest prayer that they may learn the way of life and salvation. That holy word is a sure guide, and will enable all who search its pages to distinguish between its sacred truths and the false doctrines so widely taught in these times of peril. I urge upon you, my brethren and sisters, the necessity of searching the Scriptures. Your eternal destiny depends upon your understanding and obeying them for yourselves. There the plan of salvation is clearly set forth, God’s claims are plainly stated, and if we are his obedient children we shall search carefully and prayerfully to learn his will that we may do it.
Oh! I entreat you who profess to love God to be less self-caring. Center your affections upon Jesus, your Redeemer. Give up all for him, be willing to make any and every sacrifice to save souls for whom he died. Give him your loving homage, your willing service, and he will bestow upon you the priceless gift of everlasting life.
— The Review and Herald, December 26, 1882
Gracious Father, I seek to draw near to You with a true heart in full assurance of faith. I want to learn Your will, O Lord, show me Your ways and guide me as I open Your word. May all bitterness towards others die with the old year, revive kindness and Christian affection in my heart. Help me to be less self-caring and willing to make any and every sacrifice in service to You that I may learn the way of life and salvation.