Thursday, January 02, 2014
The Vision (1.2.14): Resolve...
Scene: Singing praises together at a December CRBC home fellowship
This is the time of the year when resolutions are made. Might I suggest these resolutions for believers in 2014:
1. Resolve to read through the Bible and to pray privately.
Set aside time each day for personal Bible study and prayer (1 Tim 4:13; Col 3:16; 1 Thess 5:17). Psalm 1 pronounces the man blessed who meditates on God’s law day and night. Choose a Bible reading plan like that of Robert Murray M’Cheyne. Or, simply begin reading three to seven chapters each day and you will go through the Bible in a year’s time. If reading the whole Bible seems daunting, begin with the 27 books of the New Testament.
2. Resolve to have daily family devotions.
Make your home a place of spiritual refuge and instruction (cf. Deut 6:6-7; 2 Tim 3:14-15). It need not be complicated. Pause after supper to read a chapter or shorter passage from a Biblical book. Place a bookmarker to keep your space and read consecutively through the book. Read a portion of the Baptist Catechism (Spurgeon version). Read part of a devotional book (if you have children, I suggest the Building on the Rock series edited by Joel Beeke.) Sing a hymn or song. Close with prayer.
3. Resolve that if you have not yet publically professed faith and been submitted to baptism, to seek this out.
The Scriptures teach that all who confess the Lordship of Jesus Christ shall be saved (Rom 10:9). Jesus called upon his disciples to deny themselves and take up their cross daily to follow him (Luke 9:23). Jesus commanded his apostles to make disciples and to baptize them (Matt 28:19-20). He also said, “If you love Me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
4. Resolve that if you are not a member of a local, visible church that is Christ-centered and Bible believing, find one and join it.
Read 1 Corinthians 12 to understand what Paul taught about how important it is to be a member of a local body.
5. Resolve that when you are a church member, to find tangible and consistent ways to demonstrate your love for Christ and the brethren.
Do this through your glad participation in corporate worship (Heb 10:25: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together….”); prayer (1 Thess 5:25: “Brethren, pray for us”); ministry to the brethren (Gal 6:2: “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ”); encouraging your leaders (1 Thess 5:12: “know them which labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you”); giving consistently and cheerfully (2 Cor 9:7: “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give….”); inviting and witnessing to unbelievers (1 Cor 14:24-25: “and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned … he will worship God”); and partaking of the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor 11:24: “this do in remembrance of me”), among other things.
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeffrey T. Riddle