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Invite Jesus Christ to come and live in your heart

Invite Jesus Christ to come and live in your heart - It is always exciting when a new year arrives before us as a page upon which we will write the history of our life. Let us pray for each other that it might be a good year for our Lord's work, for ourselves personally and for our families. When we face the future seriously, we often feel anxious. This is particularly true if the future looks fearful and if we are plagued with a feeling of our helplessness and insignificance.

The disciples of Jesus were horrified at the thought of facing the future without the comfort of his continuing companionship. Jesus sought to allay their fears and to challenge them to faithfulness with a promise of ‘another Comforter.’ So toward the end of his earthly ministry, Jesus concentrated on his twelve apostles. He spent much time with them in seclusion because of his desire to avoid his enemies. At the same time, he wanted to strengthen these men for the task that was before them. He gave them some exceedingly great and precious promises, including the promise that he would give them "another Comforter," a promise they were incapable of understanding at the time. Furthermore, he said, "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you" (John 14:18).

While they had followed Jesus they had learnt many things:
1. They saw in Jesus Christ what it meant to make a complete surrender to the absolute claims of God over one's life.
2. They saw what it meant to completely forsake sin.
3. They saw the perfection of love in all attitudes, all ambitions, and all relationships.
4. They saw a supreme example of one who was willing to deny himself for the sake of others.
5. They witnessed one who demonstrated a unique aloofness from attachment to material things.
6. They saw and experienced one who lived totally for eternity.

Eleven of these apostles became so committed to Jesus Christ that they could not even consider their future existence without His companionship. For Him to depart was totally unacceptable and unthinkable to them. It was in that context that Jesus continued to tell them that He must go back to the Father. He sought to comfort them with a promise of "another Comforter" (John 14:16) who would be their counsellor and helper.

As we face the new year, we need to accept by faith the presence of this Comforter who came on the Day of Pentecost to dwell in the church. He came on the day of your conversion experience to dwell in your heart. With joy we should recognise the Holy Spirit's indwelling presence and find the strength we need for living effectively in this year 2016. With eagerness we should listen for the Holy Spirit's voice as he speaks to our innermost being as we study the Scriptures, as we pray and as we see a needy world. With love for our Lord and his people, let each of us decide to cooperate with this divine Comforter and Counsellor as we walk through the days of this new year.

If you have come to this first Sunday in the year 2016 without knowing Jesus Christ as Saviour, this would be a wonderful time to respond as the Holy Spirit leads you. Invite Jesus Christ to come and live in your heart as Saviour, Lord, Teacher, and Friend. May you know God’s blessing during 2016

Rev Dr Philip Egglestone Minister at Nairn Baptist Church