Thursday, January 05, 2012

The Vision (1/5/12): New Year's Resolutions for Believers

I heard a radio interview this week with an executive from a major national weight loss program who said the first week in January was like the “Super Bowl” for his business. Indeed, the start of a new year often leads to the making of resolutions. Let me suggest some resolutions the believer should seriously consider:

1. Read through the Bible in 2012. There are a number of reading schemes you might consider. One popular plan is that drawn up by the Scottish minister Robert Murray M’Cheyne (look here). You can also just begin a consecutive reading through either the OT or NT. Tremendous things happen to us spiritually when we consistently read and meditate upon God’s word.

2. If you are not now a member of a local church, join one. There are no perfect churches. You should be able to find one, however, that is Christ-centered and Bible-focused. In fact, if you live in the Charlottesville area, I happen to know of a very winsome congregation I can recommend. We can add to this that if you have not yet been baptized, then submit yourself to this ordinance of our Lord (Matt 28:19-20) and show that you love him by obeying his commandments (John 14:15). As we tell our children, delayed obedience is disobedience.

3. Commit yourself to consistent churchmanship. This means supporting the Lord’s Day worship services that are hosted by your church. It also means being a faithful steward of your time, money, and talents. Do this cheerfully, expectantly, and contentedly.

4. Develop the discipline of prayer. You might be aided by making a set time for prayer and/or by making a designated place for prayer. Pray for the officers of your church, for your fellow members, for your family, for the salvation of the lost, for your personal needs, for the nation, for missionaries and ministers. Take advantage of opportunities for corporate prayer in Lord’s Day worship and at mid-week prayer meetings.

5. Pursue personal ministry. This might be outreach to a widow or home-bound person. It might be sending encouraging notes to a missionary. It might be visiting a prison or nursing home. It might be taking on a responsibility in the church. The possibilities are truly endless.

I believe that if we take up resolutions such as these the Lord will richly bless us in the year ahead.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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