Takoradi, Jan. 1, GNA - Christians have been advised to forget the past, plan ahead and confront the new year with confidence, hope and determination.
The Reverend Thomas Ekow Nana Ansah, Minister in charge of the Christ the King Methodist Church at Anaji Estates, gave the advice at a watch-night service to herald the New Year. Preaching on the theme: "Put off and Put On", Rev. Ansah said until Ghanaians learned to put off old habits and adopt new and positive ones they could not face the challenges of the New Year. He said hatred; selfishness, envy, anger and divisions should be substituted with love, peace, happiness and joy.
Such attributes he said should be demonstrated to every individual, irrespective of their religious, economic or social backgrounds. Rev. Ansah said though the New Year would pose challenges, every Ghanaian must make conscious efforts to overcome them while Christians should continually depend on God for direction.
"Be ready to give off and allow God to give you what would benefit and make life pleasing and more assuring in the New Year," he stressed. At the Anaji Estate Assembly of the Church of Pentecost, Elder, Nana Achia-Mensah, Presiding Elder, speaking on the theme: "Hope", said there was hope for every Christian in the coming year.
He said Christians must not focus their attention on the impossibilities of life but should be reliant on God for a breakthrough. Elder Achia-Mensah said though temptations, trials, deprivation and other uncomfortable situations could befall them, they needed to stand firm and continually trust in God.
"God's power supersedes all powers and every individual should accept and make God the centre of all their decisions," he added. He challenged Christians to rely on God for their liberation from worldly pleasures and the pressures of the New Year.
Pastor Kojo Impraim, Takoradi District Pastor of the Assemblies of God Church, on Sunday called on the people to foster peace and unity in their homes, workplaces and communities in order to move the country forward.
He made the call when delivering the sermon at a New Year service at the Takoradi Central Assemblies of God Church at Takoradi. Pastor Impraim said the country needs peace to develop and to enjoy peace, the people must accept Christ, the Prince of Peace, as their personal saviour.
He said the greatest gift the country's political leaders can give the nation is peace and this could be done when they desist from intra-party antagonism, conflict, bickering and insults. Pastor Impraim urged politicians to exercise maturity in their relationships with their members and political opponents. He said the ruling party should recognise and accept the role of the opposition who may have ideas that could shape the destiny of the country.
Pastor Impraim said the opposition should do away with confrontational posture and co-operate with the ruling party when necessary for the interest and benefit of the nation.
He said workers should change their attitude to work and adopt good work ethnics that would discourage laziness and lateness to work. At the Takoradi Trinity Presbyterian Church, Reverend Atiemo Aye, Takoradi District Pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, urged the country's christians to "Make a difference in 2006" by leading exemplary lives.
He said christians should not allow themselves to be enveloped by materialism that results in corruption and other social evils. Reverend Aye said the argument that people engage in corruption because salaries are meagre is untenable because people have to live within their means and not to live lavishly. He said people should not aspire to get rich quickly by dubious means but should cultivate the saving habit and acquire property by hard work and honest living.
Reverend Aye spoke against moral decadence, disobedience of God's laws, family break-ups and reckless driving that have become the order of the day.
He said righteousness exalts a nation and if people led righteous lives the nation would be blessed.
He said Christians have to be the salt of the earth in the midst of moral decay in the country and live in obedience to God and Christian principles.