Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. 2 Corinthians 13:5.
Already has the new year been ushered in; yet before we greet its coming, we pause to ask, What has been the history of the year that with its burden of records has now passed into eternity? … God forbid that at this important hour we should be so engrossed with other matters as to give no time to serious, candid, critical self-examination! Let things of minor consequence be put in the background, and let us now bring to the front the things which concern our eternal interests….
No one of us can in our own strength represent the character of Christ, but if Jesus lives in the heart, the spirit dwelling in Him will be revealed in us. All our lack will be supplied. Who will seek at the beginning of this new year to obtain a new and genuine experience in the things of God? Make your wrongs right as far as possible. Confess your errors and sins to one another. Let all bitterness and wrath and malice be put away. Let patience, long-suffering, kindness, and love become a part of your very being; then whatsoever things are pure and lovely and of good report will mature in your experience….
It behooves us individually to cultivate the grace of Christ, to be meek and lowly of heart, to be firm, unwavering, steadfast in the truth; for thus only can we advance in holiness and be made fit for the inheritance of the saints in light. Let us begin the year with an entire renunciation of self. Let us pray for clear discernment, … that we may always and everywhere be witnesses for Christ.
Our time and talents belong to God, to be used for His honor and glory. It should be our earnest, anxious effort to let the light shine through our life and character to illumine the pathway heavenward, that souls may be attracted from the broad road to the narrow way of holiness….
Strong men and women are needed in the church, successful workers in the Lord’s vineyard, men and women who will labor that the church may be transformed to the image of Christ rather than conformed to the customs and practices of the world. We have everything to gain or to lose. Let us see that we are on the side of Christ—the gaining side; that we are making sure work for Heaven.—Signs of the Times, January 4, 1883.