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A New Resolution
“Consider your ways . . . and build the temple.”
People by nature build, tear down, and rebuild. We build our hopes, get disappointed, and then search for renewed hope. That is why we are fond of New Year’s resolutions. They are very popular in our culture today, though most are seldom kept. We get busy; we forget; we fail. Making resolutions, though, at least forces us into a moment of honesty about our need to change.
The Bible tells us to examine ourselves before the Lord. When we do this with sincerity, the Lord reveals where we fall short. This turns us back to God and helps us realize that we are incapable of living lives pleasing to Him apart from His help day by day, hour by hour.
Have you taken inventory lately? Have you considered where you stand with God? As you begin this new year, return to the Lord and consider Him—the One who gives you everything. Consider your ways and build on His foundation. “And in this place,” the Lord says, “I will bring peace” (Haggai 2:9 NLT).
What is one area you are seeking God’s help this year?
Preparing for the Future
Having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone.
It’s easy to focus only on physical well-being or emotional happiness as we prepare for the future. It is not necessarily wrong to be concerned about some of these things. But is this all it takes to prepare?
The answer is no; even the securest financial plan and the finest health care aren’t enough to hold us steady when the challenges come. Will a full bank account satisfy you when disability takes away your freedom or death robs you of someone you love? Will robust health shield you against the storms of loneliness or grief? We need a solid foundation beneath our lives—a foundation that will give us strength and stability no matter what happens. And the time to build it is now.
God does not want us to drift aimlessly through life, desperately seeking happiness and security and peace—but never finding them. Nor does He want us to build our lives on an unstable or impermanent foundation. God has already provided the foundation we need!
What is one step you can take today to build your foundation on God?
The Gift of Prayer
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God . . . will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Prayer is one of our greatest privileges as God’s children. Think of it: the God of the universe wants us to bring every concern to Him! I have never met anyone who spent time in daily prayer, studied God’s Word regularly, and was strong in faith who was ever discouraged for very long.
Does God always answer our prayers the way we wish? No, not necessarily—nor has He promised to do so. He sees the whole picture, but we don’t. Sometimes He says “No” or “Not now.” But God has promised to hear us when we pray and to answer our prayers in His time and in His way (1 John 5:14).
Prayer isn’t just asking for things we want. Prayer is really a place where you meet God in genuine conversation. True prayer includes thanking and praising Him for who He is and all He does.
No matter how dark and hopeless a situation may seem, never stop praying. We cannot afford to be too busy to pray.
How can you readjust your schedule to spend time praying today?
The Gift of Service
As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
1 Peter 4:10
Just as our bodies need exercise to be strong physically, our faith needs exercise if we are to be strong spiritually.
It has often been noted that several rivers flow into the Dead Sea, but no river flows from it. That’s why its water has become so saturated with minerals over the centuries that nothing is able to live in it. Without any outlet it indeed has become a “dead” sea. The same is true with us. If we keep faith to ourselves, if we never allow it to flow through us to enrich others, and if it has no outlet, then we will find ourselves like the Dead Sea—lifeless and spiritually dead.
God wants to use you right where you are. Every day you probably come into contact with people who will never enter a church or talk with a pastor or open a Bible. You may be the bridge God uses to bring them to His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Anyone can be a servant, no matter how inadequate he or she may feel.
How can God’s love flow through you in someone’s life?
Nourished by the Word
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous.
Strengthening our spiritual roots begins with God’s Word.
A wonderful friend of ours, Robert Morgan, wrote a little book about Bible memorization and stated, “Our minds are vaults especially designed to stockpile the seeds of God’s Word.” In his book, he tells the story of an eighty-nine-year-old woman in his church who said, “Oh, Pastor Morgan, I’m so glad you are having us memorize [Bible] verses. I’ve already gotten started on them. It’s going to help me keep my mind fresh and young!”1 It made me smile to realize that she would keep her mind fresh and young . . . she had not allowed it to get old. There is no better deposit to make in the human mind and heart than to fill them with the treasures found in the Word of God.
Are the truths of God nourishing your root system? We must never cease being filled with the abundant gifts from God that bring hope and satisfaction.
Which Bible verse will you memorize today?
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