I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and happy New Year’s spending time with your families and thanking our Savior! Don’t stop there! Keep thanking God throughout 2018. It’s amazing to think about how quickly a year goes by! It’s seems like yesterday my family was moving to Edgefield, and now we are celebrating a year of ministry here! The older I get, the more quickly time seems to move. How do we avoid wasting our year? How do we ensure that 2018 is memorable? We plan!
Let me give you 4 things I want you to plan for the upcoming year. These aren’t demands, they are biblically based disciplines…everyone hates that word…that we must prepare for if we are going to accomplish them in a Christ-honoring manner:
- What will you read? Let me encourage you to pick up a “Read the Bible in a Year” plan. They are available at https://www.christianity.com/bible/year/ for free!
Here, you can select to read the Bible in order, chronologically, or many other options. Knowing I have a calendar and expectations helps me stay on track. I’ve used that website for 5 years now, and it’s a great resource. “I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.” Do YOU treasure God’s Word more than food?
- What will you give? The truth of the matter is that the Bible talks about giving and stewardship often! If you don’t plan what you will give, then other issues will steal the priority for your money. It’s amazing how when we plan and trust God for how much we will give monthly, He always provides. “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 682 Billion was spent on Christmas presents in America….what if we cared that much about missions?
- How will you serve? As with the tithing question, if you don’t plan on how you will serve your church and your community, something else will steal the priority. Is your priority serving Christ, or yourself? God has given you gifts “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” Here is a simple and short test to help you discover your gifts:https://spiritualgiftstest.com/spiritual-gifts-test-adult-version/ Now, will you use them?
- Will you Commit to Corporate Worship? To many, Sunday morning attendance is optional. Many different things get in our way: travel, jobs, family events…but let me encourage you to make church a priority. Corporate worship is commanded in Scripture because it is VITAL, like everything else on this list, for our growth. Don’t get in the habit of “neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Your children, grandchildren, and other people are watching…and Learning…from how you live…learning your priorities and making them their own.
If you have any questions, I would love to speak with you about a relationship with Jesus or any of the above disciplines. Jesus loves you, and I hope you’ll tell the world in 2018! Happy New Year’s!