Determine your year ahead

train-motion

One writer described the year 2016 as the year of disruption. I dare say he’s correct in many ways, speaking as he is from an American perspective. Disruption was true around the world as well, with Brexit, Fidel Castro’s death, China’s growth, Venezuela’s continued death spiral, and a host of other sad tendencies.

Brazil was no exception. President Dilma was impeached and removed from office. The economy slowed and joblessness grew. Corruption went beserk. Continue reading

#corollaries, #encouragement, #intention, #new-year, #planning

Ready or not time is swiftly passing

2015 is here. It will take me a while to get accustomed to writing that date, but I will. Time marches on. It waits for no one. It reminds me of a game we played as children, when we yelled, “ready or not, here I come.” We often ask, “Where does the time go?” It’s moving along slowly but surely. Ready or not, it is coming if the Lord allows the world to stand.

Are we ready? You might think, “Well, what difference does it make?” As time marches on each of us is growing older. We are one step closer to the grave, to eternity. That’s the difference it makes.

When Hayes Funeral Home in Elba has a new body, they send me an announcement by email. I always feel a sense of dread in opening the email, afraid it might be someone I know. Often times it is someone I know. Death waits for no one. Friends and loved ones are going out into eternity, ready or not.

Let’s look at our spiritual growth during the past year. Let’s ask ourselves some serious questions:

Did we grow spiritually last year?
Are we closer to the Lord than we were a year ago?
Did our knowledge of the Word of God increase?
Did we devote more time to doing the Lord’s work this past year? Did we visit more? Did we talk to anyone about their soul? Did we help anyone in need? Did we give of our means as He would have us do? Did we attend the services of the church faithfully? Did we lead anyone to the Lord? Did we try?

Dr. Phil McGraw will often say, “The best way to determine future behavior is to look at past behavior.” I hope that is not true with our spiritual life. I hope that each year we will resolve to grow spiritually by studying our Bibles, by praying, by faithfully attending the services of the church, and by serving our fellowman with the goal of leading them to Christ.

When I was young, the Chuck Wagon Gang sang a song that I love. The chorus Is:

“I want my Lord to be satisfied with me.
I want my life to be what He’d have it be.
And when I come to that great eternity,
His smile will say He is satisfied with me.”

#2015, #bible-reading, #death, #eternity, #new-year

What does the Bible say about our speech?

Written by Douglas M. Williams, Sr.

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who take His name in vain” (Exodus 20:7).

“Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word man may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:34-37).

“But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth” (Colossians 3:8).

At the beginning of a new year there is much talk about “resolutions.” I hope you have made resolutions to improve your life, and with this thought, I wanted to write about our speech as a resolution that we may not normally think about.

The above verses, and many others in the Bible, warn us about our speech not only in what we say but how we say it. James has much to say about the use of our tongue and shows that our words reveal our character (James 1:19, 26; 3:1-12). Speech is the index of the mind and heart. Some may use vulgar language because of a weak intelligence, thinking they cannot express themselves without using bad language. Yet the dictionary has thousands of good words we can use instead.

It is a bad, evil habit to curse, swear, use profanity, and use God’s name in vain. We should also be careful and guard against euphemisms as bywords and slang. Some who would not think of cursing, plainly use bywords that are closely akin to cursing.

Bad language is not only a bad evil habit, but is a sin against God and society. It is a bad example that can and should be stopped. Language is guarded when women or certain people are present, but remember God is always present and hears.

Our speech should be used in good ways to bless, praise, and glorify God and to be a blessing to our fellow human beings (1 Peter 3:15; 4:11).

#new-year, #resolutions, #speech

THE NEW YEAR

The beginning of Jesus’ gospel starts with the message and mission of John (Mark 1:1-11), also known as the one who immerses. His message was a message of repentance; he came unto Israel to smooth out the spiritually rough roads that have been trod over the many years of their existence. The road was very rough; not because of anything the Lord had done, but because the people took the Lord’s message and made use of it however they chose. This made for both “potholes,” “buckling” and winding roads. John’s message was a message that smoothed out these rough patches.

In order to get a new surface there must be a penitent attitude, John said. The attitude of heart that changes one’s thinking will also change one’s behavior. Thus, as one submitted to the “baptism of repentance,” confessing their sins to the God of all glory, a new path was set before each one.

However, the one of whom John spoke much about came to him in order to be baptized by him; John was a bit reluctant, but after persuasion, he immersed Jesus. Jesus resolved to do the Lord’s will and identify Himself with man. When He came up from the water, it was then that John knew Him to be the anointed of God (John 1:32-34).

The new year corresponds, also, to a beginning; we are one week inside of it. Perhaps a resolution or two you have made. Let me encourage you to make a resolution to live in accordance with Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (NKJV).

This approach to living will change your life. RT

#new-year, #resolutions

David’s Prayer

David’s Prayer

1 Chronicles 29:10ff

I. David blessed the Lord V10-13

II. Who am I that God Supplies Everything? V 14-17

III. Prayer for the people to “fix their hearts” on God. V 18.

IV. Our Prayer in the New Year?

 

 

#god, #new-year, #prayer

Nudge: Are You Making Any Resolutions?

Resolutions: some people can’t stand them – others do their best to stand in there with them.

Are you as an individual making any for this year?

How about any congregational resolutions? New activities, goals, evangelistic efforts? We have some plans at Keltonburg, how about where you’re at?

If these things apply to you, speak up, I want to hear them. If they don’t apply to you speak up anyways 🙂

#new-year, #plans, #resolutions

Some Points On Worship From Malachi Chapter 1

Here’s the link so you can read the chapter first…that way the points will make more sense.

  • It’s bad news when news from God is considered a burden because of its audience.
  • It’s not God’s job to forgive – it’s his gift.
  • Don’t confuse receiving God’s favor and then giving gifts with giving gifts and doing God a favor.
  • Dead worship reveals dead hearts.
  • Our expectations with worshipping God doesn’t change God’s expectations of being worshipped.
  • Think worship is too worthless, too boring, too much of a burden, too expensive and too personal – God says too bad!
  • People who take worship for granted take their relationship with God for granted.
  • If we remember why we come together then we’ll do what we came together for.
  • Worship isn’t meant to be a circus – but it’s not meant to be a funeral either!

Take these points and study Malachi 1 and you’ll find “old lessons” for keeping a “New Year” of worship on track.

#malachi, #new-year, #sermon-outline, #worship