In Philippians 4:8-9 we read, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (9) Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you." As we all get into the routine of our daily schedules, in this year, I do hope and pray that the Lord will be at the center of all you do. Honor Him, walk with Him and serve Him – every day. Whether your feet be mired in the mud of some unexpected valley or scaling the precipitous heights of some great mountain, whether it be in the brightness of noonday or in the darkness of midnight, whether in sickness or in health, whether you have much or little, stay true, stay on track, stay excited, and stay at the task God has given. Here are my New Year's urgings for each of us:
First: Pray a lot!
Second: Read your Bible daily, systematically and devotionally.
Third: Witness every day and strive to win the ones to whom you witness. You can win souls if you work at it.
Fourth: Make church the hub of your life. Be there Sunday, morning and night, and Wednesday night. Have your family there and let nothing and nobody discourage you from doing so.
Fifth: Tithe! Give the Lord His portion of your income! You cannot out give Him. So be obedient in your stewardship.
Sixth: Believe God about everything. Have faith in Him; trust Him.
Seventh: Keep a good spirit in you. Rejoice! Let the joy of the Lord dominate your countenance.
Eight: Serve! Find a place to plug yourself into the Lord's work. Do something in which you invest yourself in the Lord's work.
Ninth: Keep short accounts with God. Stay in good relationship. Use I John 1:7-10 as often as necessary, but keep things right.
Tenth: Build strong relationships with strong Christians. Run with the right crowd and learn from them. Don't imitate weakness; let strength be your model.
Eleventh: Find a mentor. I'm not talking about hero worship, but a mentor of stature whose track record is well established, clean and obviously faithful.
Twelfth: Keep looking expectantly to the sky! Maranatha, indeed, the Lord is coming — when, we do not know, but it could be sometime soon! With both hands on the plow (at work), keep one eye glancing upward in anticipation of His promised coming!
May these thoughts suggest a full agenda and fruitful plan for 2016! And may God's blessing be upon you this week as you read and meditate on the Names of God from Exodus 15:22-27 on "Jehovah – Ropha."
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