Dear Brethren,

Chinese New year is in a few days’ time and I am sure you look forward to the holiday and also lots of good food in the celebration of the lunar new year. In the midst of such celebration, may we be reminded that we are the children of the Lord and ought to shine for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ at all times even in this lunar new year season. I will share 3 areas that we can make our Chinese New Year a spiritually meaningful one to shine for the Lord as light and salt.

Witness for Jesus Christ
Romans 1:16a “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ”

Chinese New year provides a rare opportunity for us to meet many relatives and friends, some of them perhaps we only meet once a year. As we interact with them and find out about their well-being, let us also share to them that we are Christians and have found our hope and eternal life in our Saviour Jesus Christ. The Lord can use us to share the Gospel and give out the Gospel tracts. We must never be ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It is the power of God unto salvation. Pray to the Lord for courage to be a good witness for Him.

For your unbelieving parents, what better way to witness to them than to show them extra love in this lunar new year? Give them an ang pow and wish them good health but most of all, tell them from your heart how you wish they will trust in Jesus as you had done and together you and them will share eternity in Heaven. God can save the most hardened souls. Pray and trust God to work in our unbelieving parents’ hearts.

Use Appropriate New year Greetings
Proverbs 15:4a “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life”

The most common phrase utter in the new year is “Gong Xi Fa Cai” “恭喜发财” which implies we wish prosperity and riches to come to the people we greet. As Christians, we understand that what people need is not more material riches but rather peace in their hearts with God. Hence, I do not think it is appropriate for Christians to use the phrase “Gong Xi Fa Cai” “恭喜发财” in our new year greetings. Our words should be wholesome as taught by God’s Word. We can wish each other “God’s blessings of grace” “新年蒙恩”. It is also fine to wish our unbelieving parents and relatives good health and peaceful new year but most important of all, we should share to them God’s love.

Pray that the Lord will help us that the words coming from our mouth will be a testimony for the Lord Jesus and show forth the love and grace of God in our hearts. Put away words of anger, wrath and curse but rather be filled with the Spirit to speak forth words of kindness and encouragement.

Beware of Vices
1 John 2:15a “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world”

There will be temptations of drinking and gambling during lunar new year. It is a common practice in the lunar new year season to indulge in such activities. Many Christians can also be deceived in thinking it is fine to indulge in drinking and gambling only in this season. Beware of such sin and take heed to God’s commandment not to love the world and follow after the ways of the world.

Pray to the Lord for courage to take a firm stand even when we are under pressure to compromise. Tell your unbelieving relatives and friends that you are a Christian and you want to please God to do the right things. They may scorn and make fun of you. Do not be affected as your faithful action has brought the smile and approval of God.

A blessed and spiritually purposeful lunar new year to every reader!

Elder John Leong