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January 2001


O Lord our God, John 8:12 says, "He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness." These are the words of Christ, and in these words, he urges us to imitate him.

If we wish to be truly enlightened, we must imitate the life of Christ. If we wish deliverance and freedom from all blindness of heart, we must imitate the character of Christ. Therefore, O Lord, may it be our chief business in the year 2001 to meditate upon the life of Jesus Christ, for what he taught us by living excels all the teachings of all religions.

Moreover, O Lord, we realize that as we imitate Christ, we are filled with his Spirit, and we find therein a hidden manna.

Lord, as we look around us, we see many people that hear the gospel frequently and are little affected. This is because they lack the spirit of Christ. If we would understand Christ's words fully and taste them truly, we must strive to form our whole life after his pattern, and thus we show that we have his Spirit and his gospel.

Deliver us, Lord, in the year 2001 from the attitude of religious disputation. What good do we get by disputing learnedly about God, if we are lacking in humility and are therefore displeasing to God?

High sounding words do not make us a godly people; rather, a virtuous life brings us nearer to God. It is better to have a conscience or to feel compunction than to know how to define those words. If we knew the whole Bible by heart, and all the doctrines of the faith, what would that profit us without love for you, dear God?

"Vanity of vanities; all is vanity," so says Ecclesiastes 1:2. All is vanity except loving you, Lord, and serving you. This is the highest wisdom: to aim at the kingdom of heaven.

To seek perishable riches, to rely on such things, is vanity. To pursue honors and worldly dignities is vanity. To follow the lusts of the flesh and desire that which hereafter will bring grievous punishment is vanity. To wish for a long life and to care little about a good life is vanity. To look at what we have done or what we intend to do and not think about what we are doing is vanity

Teach us in this new year, Lord, to imitate Jesus in our relationships with others.

Help us to remember the poor, the cold, the hungry, the lonely, and those who have no helper. Move our hearts, 0 Lord, that we may freely give, remembering that you have freely given us all things.

All this we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God. Amen.



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