Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 3:13-14 NKJV)
With this devotional we are going to conclude, thank God, the fifth year in which we accompanied ourselves with the daily reading of the Bible. I hope it was an edifying journey for many, an opportunity to stimulate meditation not only with the proposed text, but also with the weekly plan, which we will repeat starting from Wednesday 1 January, to begin the sixth year. I am aware that there are many similar proposals around, and I do not pretend to add anything. After these years, however, many have appreciated and encouraged this commitment. Each weekly sharing with all of you allows me to have a further moment of reflection to submit to your attention. This, however, is not only the end, but also the beginning of the new year. I therefore need to propose a closure that is also an opening at the same time.
At the end of the year we are used (someone no longer) to draw conclusions, look back and evaluate the progress of our year. The mind tends to always run to unpleasant things. In our memories, bitterness, pain and sorrow remain longer and longer. And I am sure that every year everyone has received his dose. If we take a little time, however, stopping and rewinding the entire tape, we will discover many sweet and significant moments, of inestimable value. Who knows I can't make my words your own. I must thank my God first of all to be able to do it, being still in the ranks of the living, and then in order: for those who have surrounded me with their love, from the closest to the most distant, from the people who fill my day to those who they enrich with their feelings, for those who have supported me in the many projects, for those who have collaborated with me in the ministry and in the activities, for the great spiritual family and the conservatives who are still struggling in His work, and for those who have found a benefit in mine humble service or just having met me. For each one, I ask the Father of mercy to assist and guide you, clothing your life with His infinite grace and granting you an overflowing measure of His Spirit for a blessed new year.
Yes, dear friend, the secret lies in not stopping at what is behind it. We live in the knowledge that despite everything we do and do our utmost to do, we always remain "useless servants". But that doesn't mean we back off. Indeed, we continue just as the apostle Paul suggested to the Philippians. What has been can be ignored by many, and forgotten by us, because we have a "reward" to reach and collect. The perception and awareness of the present can help us to keep our pace steady to fulfill the vocation received from God through Jesus. Remember that everything down here will have its end, the most beautiful things, the most intense moments, will remain an image of the past. Your life continues, your path is still to be completed. Do not stop. And if you did, in the new year you start again with more energy. Happy New Year in the Lord.
Devotional 53 2019-01/2020
Weekly Bible Reading Plan
December 30 Zechariah 13-14; Revelation 21
December 31 Malachi; Revelation 22
January 01 Genesis 1-3; Matthew 1
January 02 Genesis 4-6; Matthew 2
January 03 Genesis 7-9; Matthew 3
January 04 Genesis 10-12; Matthew 4
January 05 Genesis 13-15; Matthew 5: 1-26