Happy New Year! I think most of us can feel that 2024 is going to be a big year. Ukraine War is still going on. Israel-Gaza situation. Big US election coming up. New Year's earthquake in Japan. In my part of the world, the situation in Myanmar is really getting terrible. And I'm sure that wherever you are, dear reader, there is also uncertainty.
I read an Ellen White article published on January 3, 1882 about New Year (thank you M. Troyanosky III for sharing it), and her emphasis was on how we can show our gratitude to God by repaying His Son in the person of the poor and downtrodden. Ellen White calls on us to make the words "happy new year" actually happen, "to aid in their fulfillment". We have it in our power to try to make other people's upcoming year happier.
But whatever the cares and sorrows of life, whatever the mistakes and errors of the past, the “Happy New Year,” when uttered as an expression of love or respect, falls pleasantly upon the ear. And yet, are not these kindly wishes often forgotten with the utterance? How often we fail to carry their import into the daily life, and thus to aid in their fulfillment. The New Year's greeting is frequently uttered by insincere lips, from hearts that would not forego one selfish gratification in order to make other's happy. Recipients of gifts and favors every new year, many accept these as their due. Receiving daily the bounties of Heaven, sunshine and shower, food and raiment, friends and home,—all the unnoted yet priceless blessings of life,—they forget the claims of the Giver; forget that God has left them a legacy in his poor; and that Christ, the Majesty of Heaven, identifies himself with suffering humanity in the person of his saints.
Says our Saviour, “It was I whom you neglected. While your wardrobe was supplied with costly apparel, I had no comfortable clothing; while you feasted, I was hungry; while you were absorbed in pleasure, I was sick, a stranger, and uncared for. Let those who would have a happy new year, seek to honor God and make all around them happy. Let them share the gifts of Providence with those more needy, and bring to the Lord their offerings of gratitude, their sin-offerings, and their free-will offerings.
She gives a formula for us to have a happy new year: by honoring God and make all around us happy - then we will be happy. We can give our offerings to God to those in need. And of course, we can give our best - our time, money, effort, study, prayer - to that which has the power to make people most happy: the Good News of the everlasting Gospel, the final message of God's character that has the power to reconcile us to God.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.
It is this joyful experience of reconciled communion and fellowship with God - truly knowing Him as He is - that Maranatha Media and Father of Love and Last Message of Mercy and others associated with us are trying to give to the world.
In this regard, we want to announce the release of two new resources. One is the Sabbath School Quarterly for January-March 2024 called The Seal of Truth: The Relationship between the Father and the Son. Many have asked for Q/A Sabbath School/Catechism type format of our admittedly complex material, so here it is. One lady in Kenya said this: "I have been blessed so much going through the Sabbath School Quarterlies. So much learning at the feet of Jesus..." Please take advantage of these resources, especially those who like this format. There are various types of studies that can be found here: https://maranathamedia.com/download_section/view/studies
The other book that we have just released is Deyan Delchev's 56 page booklet, Escape from the Prison of Lies. This is a concise, streamlined version of Escaping the Pentagon of Lies, except that there are 6 points (a hexagon) instead of 5. This book is a good introduction to the most essential parts of our message. And please read Deyan's other booklets too.He has many interesting works, especially his testimony and Key to Empowering the Third Angels Message.
I pray everyone has a happy 2024, and may we support each other in making that so. Blessings, Danny Brown.
Let us enter upon the new year with a clean record.
Let faults be corrected.
Let bitterness and malice be uprooted.
Let right triumph over wrong.
Let envy and jealousy between brethren be put away.
Heartfelt, honest confession will heal grave difficulties.
Then, with the love of God in the soul,
there may flow from sincere lips the greeting,
“I wish you a happy New Year.”
RH January 3, 1882