WILL OF GOD
"Boast not thyself of tomorrow;
for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth."
"And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof:
but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."
(1 John 2:17)
Obedience to the will of God is of supreme value and is our only safety in the New Year!
Many people, even some Christians, live their own way and care only to fulfill their desires. They live by their will and not the will of God. They spend all their lives to satisfy themselves and pursue their own glory. They never realize the real purpose of their lives in this temporary and mortal world. They only start to think differently when tragedy happens to them, and they are disappointed when they find out that their will is not worth much compared to God's will.
A year untried before me lies.
What it shall bring of strange surprise,
Of joy, or grief, I cannot tell;
But God my Father knows well.
I make it no concern of mine,
But leave it all with Love Divine.
— By R.M.Offord
The magazine article summarized the life of a former winning NCAA basketball coach and network sports announcer. Throughout his colorful coaching career, he had been obsessed with the game and with winning. But years later, stricken with cancer, he came to realize the triviality of the goods and values to which he had been passionately devoted. "You get sick, and you say to yourself, 'Sports means nothing,' and that feels terrible." Because he had spent little time with his wife and children, he confessed, "I figured I'd have 20 years in the big time, who knows, maybe win three national titles, then pack it in at 53 or 54 . . . . I was going to make it all up to them, all the time I'd been away . . . . It sounds so silly now . . . . But it went on and on, that insatiable desire to conquer the world." — Our Daily Bread, October 17, 1997
Christians must not only grow and understand God's will, but they must also grow in obedience. Obedience is the key to God's heart. Obedience is one of the most critical responsibilities of the believer. The Lord rewards their obedience. "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12), "and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God" (Colossians 1:9,10).
As long as we are close to God, we will be able to know His will. The apostle John tells us how important it is to follow God's will: "And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever" (1 John 2:17). John expected that anyone who is born of God would obey the will of God. Throughout the epistle, he describes this kind of lifestyle. Obedience to the will of God is of supreme value, and it is not optional for the born–again believer. Preacher A.J. Gordon once said, "If the Lord's business is made your principal business, I assure you that you will repeatedly have divine guidance in your Christian life."
There are times we make a mistake when we think that God is not guiding us because we cannot see far ahead of us. However, this is not His technique. He only guarantees the steps which the Lord gives us, not the next mile. "The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way" (Psalm 37:23). J. Oswald Sanders states: "It is our duty to do our duty." Our responsibility is only to do our duty, which will cover a large area of our life, and for the rest, we have to wait for God's guidance.
God shows His will to us, primarily in two ways. First, through His Spirit: "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come" (John 16:13). Second, God makes known His will through His Word: "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Psalm 119:105).
If you are a good man or woman of God, do not wonder what lies ahead in the New Year. Do not be confused or afraid. It is a matter of obedience to God's will because God is in control. You will be energized by God's power when you trust in grace while you obey in faith. Rest in God's sufficient power. Live like He asks, and you will face the future with confidence when you do what is right. You will never regret your actions as the NCAA basketball coach mentioned above.
• Once a country preacher was teaching his Sunday School class when Mrs. Smith appeared confused. "Pastor," inquired the elderly lady, "I am a little confused about the doctrine of election. Could you explain it more clearly?" The pastor cleared his throat and replied, "You know what an election is when we elect the President. It is the same in the Kingdom of God. There is always an election going on. Only three votes are cast. The Lord is always voting for you. The devil is always voting against you, but you have the deciding vote!" — Author Unknown
The Bible says, "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other..." (Matthew 6:24). In our lives, we have to make a decision to serve the Lord or the devil. Seeking the will of God will help us to make the right decisions. He is glad to reveal His will to those who are hungry and thirsty to follow His directions. "Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy" (Psalm 33:18). When we make decisions, we must have the same attitude as Jesus when He said, "not my will, but thine, be done" (Luke 22:42).
• Former President Ronald Reagan once had an aunt who took him to a cobbler for a pair of new shoes. The cobbler asked young Reagan, "Do you want square toes or round toes?" Unable to decide, Reagan did not answer, so the cobbler gave him a few days. Several days later the cobbler saw Reagan on the street and asked him again what kind of toes he wanted on his shoes. Reagan still could not decide, so the shoemaker replied, "Well, come by in a couple of days. Your shoes will be ready." When the future president did so, he found one square-toed and one round-toed shoe! "This will teach you to never let people make decisions for you," the cobbler said to his indecisive customer. "I learned then and there," Reagan said later, "if you don't make your own decisions, someone else will" — Today in the Word, MBI, August 1991
If we do not make the right decision, we will pay for it now and will regret it in the future. Our success or failure in life depends upon our decisions and choices. Every day we are making decisions. Our decisions form and build the complexity of our lives and the structure of our personality and character. The choices we make will affect the directions of our life, but the decision we make in this life about Jesus Christ will forever set our eternal destiny. For the ones who accept the Lord Jesus as Savior, the matter of making a choice is still open regarding how that Christian life shall be lived.
We have numerous examples in the Bible where people made right and wrong choices. For example, Abram made the right choice, but not Lot.
"And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it
was well watered every where...Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan;
and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.
Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain,
and pitched his tent toward Sodom. But the men of Sodom were wicked
and sinners before the LORD exceedingly" (Genesis 13:10-13).
We also see the right choice Moses made. As a result of it, God used him. "Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season"
As a young man, I made the decision to follow and serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15 says, "choose you this day whom ye will serve... but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." This verse had a tremendous impact on my heart and daily life. I framed this verse, and I placed it above the door in the entryway of the kitchen in my house. On the way out, next to my front door is the verse, "be strong in the Lord..." (Ephesians 6: 10). Whenever people come to my home, these verses become visible to them and sometimes become a subject of discussion. Sometimes, people cannot leave without being convicted by God's Word - even if I may not speak a word to them.
In our lives, we have to make a decision to serve God or the devil. The question for you is: "Do you want to live closer to the Lord this year?" The choice is yours. God has promised to be with you and for you. You merely need to align your will with His. This is one election you need to be sure to vote for the winning party! This is the most important choice you have to make and follow this year and the years to come. God always honors the choices you make for Him. Remember, King David said, "let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great..." (2 Samuel 24:14). David had sinned against God. However, by choosing to fall into God's hands, the Lord forgave him, uplifted him, and blessed him. David realized that God's arm is strong to strike, but His love is strong to save.
The strength, purpose, and effectiveness of your Christian life will depend upon what goes on in secret between you and God. You need to spend time in His presence day by day. May it be said of you, as it was said of Mary: "Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her" (Luke 10:42). The choice is yours. I hope and pray your choice will be for the Lord this year as King David and Mary chose, and you and your house will serve Him with all your heart. It is the only way to be a "shoe-in" for an abundant life! Remember, a life lived for self will end at the grave. A life lived for Christ by serving Him, will have an eternal impact!
by Ted Matamis, copyright © 2019. All rights reserved.
"Do not boast about tomorrow; for you do not know what a day may bring forth." (Proverbs. 27:1).
"Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away." (James 4:13-14)
"The world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." (1 John 2:17)
“He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
"..you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;" (Colossians 1:9,10)
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and He delighteth in his way" (Psalm 37:23)
"The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." (Proverbs 4:18)
"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore." (Psalm 121)
"But as it is written, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." (1 Corinthians 2:9)
"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." (2 Timothy 4:7,8)
The center of God's will is our only safety in the New Year 2022.
"What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year." — Author, Vern McLellan
"God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with him." — Missionary, Jim Elliot
"The center of God's will is our only safety."— Author, Corrie ten Boom
"Every time you make a choice, you are turning the central part of you, the part that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before." — Scholar and Author, C. S. Lewis
"The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul." — Writer, Philosopher, and Lay Theologian, G. K. Chesterton
"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day." — English Poet, Edith Lovejoy Pierce
"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." — The greatest physicist of all time, Albert Einstein
"An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the Old Year leaves." — American Columnist and Author, Bill Vaughan
Let every New Year find you a better person!
The New Year 2022 is a book with 365 blank pages for you to fill out
with good writings to remember without regrets.
Happy New Year
Throughout the New Year, and each step of the way,
May Christ be your portion, your joy and your stay.
With God's precious precepts your daily delight
To lead and encourage in paths that are right.
"The Lord is my Shepherd," how precious the word!
He'll lead in green pastures, His promise is heard.
"Beside the still waters"--what comfort and rest!
What peace there is found upon Jesus' breast.
His "goodness and mercy," each day may you prove,
His comforting presence, His infinite love!
With richest compassions, each morning anew,
May multiplied mercies be showered on you!
"My cup runneth over," His grace so abounds,
That fullest enjoyment in Jesus is found.
"The Lord is my portion," this may your soul say,
And you will be happy each step of the way.
— Lois Beckwith
Step by Step In the New Year
"The Lord directeth his steps" (Proverbs 16:9)
Child of My love, fear not the unknown morrow,
Dread not the new demand life makes of thee;
Thy ignorance doth hold no cause for sorrow
Since what thou knowest not is known to Me.
Thou canst not see today the hidden meaning
Of My command, but thou the light shall gain;
Walk on in faith, upon My promise leaning,
And as thou goest all shall be made plain.
One step thou seest--then go forward boldly,
One step is far enough for faith to see;
Take that, and thy next shall be told thee,
For step by step thy Lord is leading thee.
Stand not in fear thy adversaries counting,
Dare every peril, save to disobey;
Thou shalt march on, all obstacles surmounting,
For I, the Strong, will open up the way.
Wherefore go gladly to the task assigned thee,
Having My promise, needing nothing more
Than just to know, where'er the future finds thee,
In all thy journeying I go before.
Requests For The New Year
What shall I ask for the coming year?
What shall my watchword be?
What should thou do for me, dear Lord?
What can I do for thee?
Lord, I would ask for a holy year,
Spent in thy perfect will.
Help me to walk in thy very steps;
Help me to please thee still.
Lord, I would ask for a trustful year,
Give me thy faith divine,
Taking my full inheritance,
Making thy fulness mine!
Lord, I would ask for a year of love;
O let me love thee best!
Give me the love that faileth not
Beneath the hardest test.
Lord, I would ask for a year of prayer,
Teach me to walk with thee;
Breathe in my heart the Spirit's prayer;
Pray thou thy prayer in me!
Lord, I would ask for the dying world,
Stretch forth thy mighty hand;
Thy truth proclaim, thy power display
This year in every land.
Lord, I would ask for a year of joy;
Thy peace, thy joy divine,
Springing undimmed through all the days
Be thy days of shade or shine.
Lord, I ask for a year of hope,
Looking for thee to come,
And hastening on that year of years
That brings us Christ and Home.
— Author Unknown
Another year is dawning!
Dear Master, let it be,
In working or in waiting,
Another year with Thee.
Another year of leaning;
Upon Thy loving breast,
Of ever-deepening trustfulness-
Of quiet, happy rest.
Another year of mercies,
Of faithfulness and grace;
Another year of gladness
In the shining of Thy face.
Another year of progress;
Another year of praise;
Another year of proving
Thy presence "all the days."
Another year of service,
Of witness for Thy love;
Another year of training
For holier work above.
Another year is dawning!
Dear Master, let it be,
On earth, or else in heaven,
Another year for Thee!
— F.R. Havergal
New Year's Wishes
What shall I wish you?
Treasures of earth?
Songs in the springtime,
Pleasure and mirth?
Flowers on your pathway,
Skies ever clear?
Would this assure you
A HAPPY NEW YEAR?
What shall I wish you?
What can be found
Bringing you sunshine
All the year 'round?
Where is the treasure,
Lasting and dear,
That shall assure you
A HAPPY NEW YEAR?
Faith that increaseth,
Walking in light;
Hope that aboundeth,
Happy and bright;
Love that is perfect,
Casting out fear;
These shall assure you
A HAPPY NEW YEAR.
Peace in the Saviour,
Rest at His feet,
Smile of His countenance
Radiant and sweet,
Joy in His presence!
Christ ever near!
This will assure you
A HAPPY NEW YEAR!
— F.R. Havergal
Resolutions for the New Year
Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God's help, I do humbly entreat Him, by His grace, to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to His will, for Christ's sake. [I will] remember to read over these Resolutions once a week:
1. Resolved, That I will do whatsoever I think to be most to the glory of God, and my own good, profit, and pleasure, in the whole of my duration; without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence.
2. Resolved, to do whatever I think to be my duty, and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general.
3. Resolved, Never to lose one moment of time, but to improve it in the most profitable way I possibly can.
4. Resolved, To live with all my might, while I do live.
5. Resolved, Never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.
6. Resolved, Never to do anything out of revenge.
7. Resolved, Never to speak evil of anyone, so that it shall tend to his dishonour, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.
8. Resolved, To study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly, and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive, myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.
9. Resolved, Never to count that a prayer, nor to let that pass as a prayer, nor that as a petition of a prayer, which is so made, that I cannot hope that God will answer it; nor that as a confession which I cannot hope God will accept.
10. Resolved, To ask myself, at the end of every day, week, month, and year, wherein I could possibly, in any respect, have done better.
11. Resolved, Never to give over, nor in the least to slacken, my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.
12. Resolved, After afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them; what good I have got by them, and what I might have got by them.
13. Resolved, Always to do that which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it.
14. Let there be something of benevolence in all that I speak. — From the Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 1
Happy New Year
A TRAVELER NAMED TIME
A traveler was walking along the road. He had a scythe upon his shoulder and an hourglass in his hand. He walked with measured, exact footsteps. His eyes looked straight in front—they never moved either to the right or left, but gazed on what was beyond.
I said to him,
“What's your name?”
“My name is Time.”
“Where are you going?”
“I'm going to eternity.”
“What's the number of your years?”
He showed me an open book, and written on the page was the date of the year just begun.
I followed where he went, but I couldn't tell how long I should follow. I saw one person after another stop in the road, and lie down to rise no more. They were left behind, for Time paused not—his course was unstopped.
YOU ARE WALKING WITH TIME
Yes, my reader, you are walking with Time on the road of life in a new year begun. But you may not go far. You may pass the buds of spring, but never see the flowers of summer. Or, you may watch the leaves fall from the autumn trees, and lie beneath them in the winter. But whether your days on earth are to be few or many, are you ready for eternity? Whether you are old or young, God would have you number your days, and apply your heart to wisdom (Psalm 90:12).
To begin the year with God is more important than anything else in this world. The Bible says: “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:6,7).
The dawning of a new year serves to remind us that we are all marching through time, heading for eternity. Awaiting each traveler is either a glad and glorious heaven in the presence of God, or a sad and sorrowful hell, banished from God.
The eternal Son of God entered into time as the man Christ Jesus to make a way for sinful man to approach God and enter into life eternal. His death, burial and resurrection have fully accomplished this objective so that Jesus now proclaims, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father but by Me” (John 14:6).
NOW IS THE TIME
To personally “seek the Lord” is to realize that Christ died for your sins, and to trust His shed blood as the full and powerful payment needed to wash your sins away. “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). On the basis of Christ’s atoning sacrifice, God abundantly pardons the repentant sinner and makes him a child of God forever. “Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). See also Romans 5:10; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 John 3:1-2.
But you must seek Him now, “while He may be found”, while there is still time, before you pass into eternity. In view of the uncertainty of life, how important it is to “prepare to meet thy God” (Amos 4:12), through faith in Christ as your personal Savior! This alone will enable you to experience a truly “Happy New Year”— and look forward to a glorious eternity with absolute certainty. — J.F.P. (mwtb)
Happy New Year!
Wouldn't it be a happier new year if we could keep all those resolutions we've made to do better? If you're like most of us, you find that it's easier to make a resolution than it is to keep one. That's human nature. It's been that way since the beginning of time.
Nineteen centuries ago, a man in Greece wrote a letter to a group of people in Rome. In the course of his remarks, the apostle Paul shared with them his own inner struggles as he weighed right and wrong. His honest admissions will be understood by those of us who annually resolve to do better next year.
"I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing" (Romans 7:18-19).
Doesn't this sound familiar? How accurately his words reflect our experience with regard to New Year's resolutions and life as a whole!
Why is it that even a person such as the apostle Paul must frankly admit a record of uninterrupted failures and broken resolutions? He provides the answer for each of us:
"Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it" (Romans 7:20). He's stating that the buck stops here with me! Because of my sinful nature, I choose the wrong and reject or neglect the right.
"What a wretched man I am!" Paul cries out. "Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans 7:24-25).
And for you, too, it is done. Jesus died on the cross for your sin. Trust Him now with the burden of your sin and you'll be free from its guilt. "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
"You can pray something like this: "Dear God, thank You that You sent Your Son to die for me so that I can be free from the guilt of my sin and open to Your power. I invite Him into my life to be my Savior."
Resolve to live for Him now and you can learn, day by day, to live in the strength of God's power, not the weakness of your human nature. You'll begin more than a happy new year; you'll begin a new life! — Good News Publishers
Hope for a New Year
The hope for your new year can be as bright as the promises of God. The Bible offers you confidence for the future—not based on your own ingenuity or determination, but on the love and mercy of God. Nothing in the coming year—rising prices, unemployment, family problems—yes, nothing can change this solid hope.
The prophet Jeremiah knew the secret: "Blessed [happy] is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord" (Jeremiah 17:7). God—the all-powerful Creator and Sustainer of the universe, who cares about your every problem—this God alone can build a secure future for you.
The person who has never trusted Jesus Christ may see life as hopeless. And, in the final analysis, he is right, for without Christ he has "no hope and [is] without God in the world" (Ephesians 2:12).
But Jesus Christ offers what you could never purchase and no one can take from you...
...love that is not based on your feelings or merits but on the never-ending mercies of God (Romans 5:8).
...freedom to know and enjoy God because Jesus Christ has taken the punishment for your sins (1 Peter 3:18).
...friendship that will never disappoint you because Jesus promised, "I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5).
...a reason for living because following Christ gives true meaning and purpose to life (John 14:6).
...an unshakable future firmly based on Christ’s promise, "I will come again" (John 14:3).
...an eternal home where the killjoys of earth—selfishness, hatred, death—will all be gone (Revelation 21:4).
As you enter this new year, you can depend on yourself and wish for the best, or you can put your hope in God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Through faith in His Word you can be filled with hope that will never fail and life that will never end.
To make this real in your life, you can pray a prayer like this:
God, I know I can’t build a productive or happy life on my own—I need Your help and Your presence in my life. More importantly, I need Your forgiveness for all my sins and new life through Christ
whose death paid the penalty for my disobedience against You. I now turn from my sins and invite Jesus Christ to be my Savior and Lord.
"Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God" (Psalm 146:5). — by Ted Griffin/ Good News Publishers
Cast Your Cares On The Lord
Seventeen years ago, the world was braced for the potential catastrophe of Y2K. Thousands stored up food and supplies in preparation for the Millennial Bug. Airline trips were canceled to avoid being on a plane on New Year's Eve. Banks stored extra cash to fill the needs of panic-stricken customers who feared the breakdown of our economic system. Sadly, opportunistic merchants made a brisk profit selling weapons, generators, gold, and freeze-dried food to those who expected the worst. When the clock struck midnight on December 31, 1999, nothing happened.
Dear friend, what are your fears for the New Year? Don't let them control your life. Most things that you worry about never do happen. God wants you to live in peace. Cast your cares on the Lord and trust Him in 2022.
You Can't Change The Past
But You Can Ruin A Perfectly Good Present
By Worrying About The Future
Dwight Moody told the story of a minister moving his library upstairs. As he was going up with a load of books, his little son came in and wanted to help his father. The pastor told the boy to go and get an armful of books to bring them upstairs. When the father came back, he met the lad about halfway up, tugging at the largest book in the collection. It was so heavy he sat down and cried. The father bent down and lifted the boy and the book. He then carried both upstairs.
Dear friend, what burdens are you pulling with you into the New Year? Are you overwhelmed with the weight? Don't struggle alone. Cast your burden on the Lord. Let Him carry you into the New Year. His arms are strong enough to handle you and all your cares.
God's Love Heals Rejection
I couldn't believe it. My friend in the high school was assigned a seat next to the prettiest girl in the eighth-grade class. He had a crush on Martha for over a year and now he would be sitting next to her for a whole year. Things went well the first couple of days. She laughed at his jokes and he was sure she liked him. Then one day while talking with her, Martha's big brown eyes glanced at the top of his head. Out of nowhere, she said, "Steve, you are starting to go bald!" Eighth grade was a very long year for this follically-challenged young man.
Dear Friend, have you suffered rejection for something you could not help or change? People often judge us unfairly for superficial reasons like our appearance or size. Thank God that He loves you just as you are. Nothing you can do or say can change how the Lord feels for you. Depend upon His love for you throughout this New Year. His love is never "hair today and gone tomorrow."
Faith In Jesus Can Set You Free
A lawyer visited a Christian to transact some business. The client asked the lawyer if he was a believer. The lawyer replied that he was an alcoholic and didn't know how to get to God. Picking up a Bible, the client explained the gospel and asked if the lawyer would pray to receive Christ. The lawyer prayed, "O Jesus, I am a slave to drink. One of Your servants has shown me how to be saved. O God, forgive my sins and help me overcome the power of this terrible habit." Right there he was converted and his life transformed. That lawyer was C.I. Scofield, who later edited the famous Scofield Reference Bible. "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Dear Friend, are you trapped in a habit you can't break? It takes more than a few resolutions to liberate you from the power of sin. Faith in Jesus can set you free. He can make you a new person for the New Year! Put your trust in Him.
"If you make a great deal of Christ, He will make a great deal of you.
But if you make but little of Christ, He will make but little of you. "
— R. A. Torrey
Surrender To The King!
At the turn of the 19th century, a reporter was interviewing General Booth, founder of the Salvation Army. "Tell me," asked the correspondent, "what is the secret of your success?" The aged Christian leader turned to the writer, with tears rolling down his cheeks. "The secret is simple," explained General Booth, "from the day I got the poor of London on my heart and a vision of what Jesus Christ could do with them, I made up my mind that God could have all there was of General Booth."
Dear friend, does God have all of you? Are you fully available to do what the Lord wants? Spiritual effectiveness is more an issue of your availability rather than your ability. As you begin the New Year, follow the example of the General. Surrender to the King!
"If the world has yet to see a man fully surrendered to God-then by God's grace, I'll be that man."
— D. L. Moody
Make sure you pursue your New Year goals with class and dignity.
At his father's funeral, American Carl Lewis placed his 100-meter gold medal from the 1984 Olympics in his father's hands. "Don't worry," he told his surprised mother, "I'll get another one." A year later, in the 100-meter final at the 1988 games, Lewis was competing against Canadian Ben Johnson. Halfway through the race, Johnson was five feet in front. Lewis was convinced he could catch him. But at 80 meters, he was still five feet behind. As Johnson crossed the finish, he stared back at Lewis and thrust his arm in victory. Lewis shook the arrogant Johnson's hand and left the track. Later, he said, "I didn't have the medal, but I could still give something to my father by acting with class and dignity." Soon afterwards, Johnson was disqualified for using steroids. The gold medal went to Lewis, a replacement for the one he had given his father. "Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation." (1 Peter 2:12)
Dear friend, what are your goals for 2023? Make sure you pursue them with class and dignity. People don't care if you win or lose as much as how you play the game. They want to see you act like a child of the King. Make sure your conduct lets people see you are running for your Father in Heaven.
Pastor John Mele was born and lived in Des Moines, and later in New Hampton, Iowa during his childhood and teenage years. He was raised in a Roman Catholic home. Upon graduating high school, he went to college at the University of Arizona and earned a 5 year, Bachelor's Degree in Architecture. In the summer of 1994, he moved to the "Chicagoland” area and began working in the field of architecture. He began attending the Northwest Bible Baptist Church pastored by Dr. Keith Gomez. (I also attended this soul-winning church along with my family for several years before it relocated further from us to Elgin Illinois) At the end of five months in that church, Holy Spirit conviction and hard preaching compelled John Mele to repent and be saved in December of 1994. In the Spring of 1995, God called him to surrender to preaching the Gospel. It was at that time that he began preparing to eventually fulfill God's call to pastor a local, New Testament Church. In 1998, he began full-time training for the Pastorate at Providence Baptist College located in Elgin, Illinois. In May of 2000, Brother Mele graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Pastoral Theology and now is Senior Pastor of the Hope Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
"...I felt as if God had been watching over me all of my life, but I was 19 years old when I accepted Christ into my life and was baptized. Wow, what a change. I immediately felt the loving "glow" that fills your body from head to toe. Ever since I have enjoyed reading and studying the Bible and living a life so that others would be able to see the Love of Jesus through me. It is my hope and prayer that all people will be able to experience the Love of Our Heavenly Father through Christ Jesus. I am now 45 years old, and still have the warming "glow" of our Lord in my body. Thank you, Father! — Tim W."
"I dread to think where I would be today if God had not saved me. My drug and alcohol abuse started when I was 14. First, I was experimenting with tobacco and Marijuana and quickly began using harder drugs. It wasn't long before Satan was in full control, and I was heavily involved in taking and making drugs. This led to extreme violence and robbery. I had been in and out of jail since I was 18. I can not help but weep when I think of all the men and women's lives I led to destruction. Everything we do in life, good or bad, right or wrong affects EVERYONE around us. Then, while I was sitting in a prison cell, lost, hopeless, and without direction, at the age of 34, God began to work on me. Upon my release, His divine direction led me to cross paths with a backslider from the Rialto church, who invited me to one of their services. In 1997 I met my Redeemer. By March of 1998, I was baptized in Jesus' name. I carried a lot of baggage to the altar that day. But after laying it all down, and giving it all over to Him who is 'Altogether Lovely', He made all my burdens roll away. I cannot begin to express the love and peace I felt that day, and still do today. Now I am 40 and I thank God every day for His Blood, His mercy, and His loving kindness. You Just Never Know!!!! — Dwayne D."
it is time now in the quietness of your mind to examine your heart and your relationship with the Lord.
Only you can answer honestly if today you are closer to the Lord than you were a year ago or if you are the same or worse.
Before you make any other resolutions for the New Year,
make sure you renew your commitment to the Lord.
God is faithful and you can count on Him to walk with you throughout the coming New Year.
Can He count on you?
"Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny."
— Frank Outlaw
Face of Christ
(The longer you look at this picture, the more you see)
This beautiful pen and ink drawing of the face of Christ by Joe Castillo contains the story of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection!
Live, Love, Laugh!
"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine"
To make 2022 your year, keep it simple:
1) Count your blessings first
2) Whatever you did last year, Do it better
3) Go step by step, One day at a time.
4) Create/make your own opportunities.
5) Believe in your abilities at all times,
6) Quitting is not an option. Keep Going.
7) Finish what you started.
New Year's Resolutions
An overweight business associate of mine decided it was time to shed some excess pounds. He took his new diet seriously, even changing his driving route to avoid his favorite bakery. One morning, however, he arrived at work carrying a gigantic coffeecake. We all scolded him, but his smile remained cherubic. "This is a very special coffeecake," he explained. "I accidentally drove by the bakery this morning and there in the window were a host of goodies. I felt this was no accident, so I prayed, 'Lord, if you want me to have one of those delicious coffee cakes, let me have a parking place directly in front of the bakery.'" "And sure enough," he continued, "the eighth time around the block, there it was!"
Many people look forward to the New Year for a new start on old habits.
People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year,
but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas.
Vivian Parson and her daughter were surprised when neighbors started to complain about a strong odor emanating from their home. They didn't smell a thing. City officials began an investigation. They took quick action to condemn the property and demolish the house. It was discovered that over 1,000 rats had taken up residence on Parson's property. When asked about her rodent roommates, Ms. Parson simply replied, "To be honest, we did not notice them!"
Dear Friend, what odors are emanating from your life? Have you been letting sinful habits and attitudes accumulate to the point where you are no longer aware of them? Take steps to do some serious housecleaning. Make a clean sweep with stubborn sins. Begin the New Year with a fresh scent. It will make it easy to smell a rat!
HYMNS and SONGS (MUSIC CLIPS- AUDIOS)
HYMNS, SONGS and SERMONS (VIDEOS)
SERMONS FROM THE PAST AND PRESENT
"For by grace you have been saved
and that not of yourselves;
it is the gift of God.
Not of works,
lest anyone should boast."
If you are a good man or woman of God,
do not wonder what lies ahead in the New Year.
Do not be confused or afraid.
It is a matter of obedience to God's will
because God is in control.
You will be energized by God's power
when you trust in grace while you obey in faith.
Rest in God's sufficient power.
A New Year is GOD’S GIFT
In the JOYFUL moments, PRAISE HIM
In the DIFFICULT moments, SEEK HIM
In the PAINFUL moments, TRUST HIM
In the QUIET moments, WORSHIP HIM
In every moment, THANK AND PRAISE HIM
"May the coming year be one of increased riches of grace –
hearing His voice more clearly,
knowing His heart more deeply,
resting in His love more fully,
trusting His care more completely,
knowing His presence more intimately,
blessed by His goodness more abundantly."
In the New Year
GOD IS ALL YOU NEED
“Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints!
For the Lord preserves the faithful,
And fully repays the proud person.
Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the Lord."
Love in Christ
Ted and Deanna