“Jesus said unto him: Follow Me!“ John 21:19
We have come now to the last day of the year! For a whole year in these daily readings, we have been walking with Christ. Is there any better word with which to close this book and close the year, than this last invitation of Jesus, “Follow Me!” This is the true outcome of all learning of Christ. Mere knowledge, though it be of spiritual things, avails nothing–except as it leads us to follow Christ.
We have seen Jesus in all the different phases of His life. We have heard many of His words. Now it remains only for us to follow Him. The outcome of seeing and knowing Jesus–should be holy living and doing. The last day of the year suggests also the same duty.
Who is satisfied with his life as it appears in retrospect? The past, however blotted, must go as it is; we cannot change it, and we need not waste time in regretting. But the new year is before us, and if we would make that better than the stained past, it must be by following Christ more closely.
To follow Christ is to go where He leads–without questioning or murmuring. It may be to a life of trial, suffering, or sacrifice–but it does not matter; we have nothing whatever to do with the kind of life to which our Lord calls us. Our only simple duty is to obey and follow. We know that Jesus will lead us only in right paths, and that the way He takes slopes upward and ends at the feet of God!
The new year on which we are about to enter is unopened, and we know not what shall befall us; but if we follow Christ we need have no fear. So let us leave the old year with gratitude to God for its mercies, and with penitence for its failures and sins; and let us enter the new year with earnest resolve in Christ’s name to make it the holiest and most beautiful year we have ever lived.
(“Daily Bible Readings in the Life of Christ” J.R. Miller, December 31, 1890)