This is my last Mid Week for 2018; I trust you have all enjoyed the Blogs I sent out through the year. To those of you who read the items, thank you for that. To those of you who use them for research and preaching, be blessed with them all. To those who sent financial support, may it be multiplied back to you - 100-fold return we call it in for you.
It's always interesting to look back, not with regret but with thanks for the year past, even though the Apostle Paul says in Philippians 3:13 "No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing; Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead."
The start of this New Year 2019 is an ideal time to reflect on the past, to take stock of your Christian walk and consider the direction God may want to lead you in next year. Set aside time to pause and pray and evaluate your spiritual condition as you seek God's presence.
Instead of making New Year's resolutions, consider making a Bible commitment not to break any promises you might make. Promises are easily broken because many times they're just so many empty words, though often earnestly spoken and even with some sincerity at the time of promise.
But God's Word transforms each individual by the Holy Spirit making us complete as we spend time alone with Him and He will begin to change us from the inside out.
Some of you probably already have your sheet of paper ready to write down your New Year Resolutions for this coming year of 2019. Well, I haven't done that as I decided a number of years ago that I was not making lists but simply making a commitment to spend more time in prayer with the Lord.
I believe the spiritual condition of my life is more important to the Lord than trying to keep promises to do such and such. He says my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and I found out a long time ago that those long lists of dos and don'ts either get lost or are too soon easily forgotten.
The things that really matter to us is what we will spend time on; because we will only do what pleases our heart to do.
If we don't read our Bible regularly; it's because our heart isn't in it. If we don't pray regularly; it's because our heart isn't in it. If we don't go to church regularly; it's because our heart isn't in it. If we don't tithe and give regular offerings; it's because our heart isn't in it.
But too often we will always find time for our favourite hobby or TV program because our heart is in that.
Rom 14:17 For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Matt 6:33 Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.
What is the Kingdom of God? It is righteousness, peace and joy.
If we seek those three things; everything else will fall in to place. If we aim to please the Lord by living by faith as Hebrews 11:6 says we should, we will find out what He wants us to do, then it will all work out. I know He tells us to seek wisdom because it is the principle or most important thing. So if we do just that our health issues and financial priorities will begin to change.
The Bible tells us His mercies are new every morning, so I daily ask Him what He wants me to do. There is nothing wrong with accomplishing some short-term goals, but never let them consume your entire energy by making them so hard they are beyond your reach. Simply trust God to help you each step of the way! Get a fresh start each day, talk with the Lord FIRST. We should meet with God personally early EVERY morning, long before meeting with anyone else. It's the one way of prioritizing Him above everything and everyone. It's also a way of making sure you're at your best, spiritually and emotionally. Then, by the time we start interacting with the rest of our family and the world, we've already had time with God.
Lamentations 3:22-23 Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail, they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
I find it best to limit my desires (or wants) each year to a few things and concentrate on the really important needs; whatever they might be, as my heart directs me.
Many people want a fresh start in life. Those that are sick want a clean bill of health. Those in financial trouble want to be out of debt. We can do all these things, but we need to work on them one day at a time, seeking His face first.
I didn’t make any commitments last year except to love God more, to appreciate my wife Elizabeth and our family, and to pray for our friends and our partners in the Ministry. I think I made it ok, but only God has the score.
Try not to overwhelm yourself with too many good intentions. You can't be all things to all men no matter how much you might want to.
Remember; people will do what they want to do most, whatever the cost. Pray and ask the Lord what you might need to work on in your life, spiritually, financially, and maybe even how to improve relationships or your health, but don’t get bogged down with too many resolutions you know you will never keep.
I believe for God's best and greatest blessings in your life, family and ministry! So to Him, let there be all the glory for all the good that He is about to bestow upon you as you seek Him in 2019!