The Clock Is Ticking Down
A new year will fall upon us in a matter of weeks and, with it, the anticipation of greater and better achievements in our lives and in our work for the Lord. However, the clock is ticking. The busyness of the holiday season will soon descend, and we must invest as much time as possible in preparing for a successful new year now. Here are several areas which I encourage God’s people to prayerfully consider:
First and foremost—A WALK WITH GOD.
I am very much looking forward to continuing my personal study of God’s Word in a new Bible. (Every two to three years, I begin reading from a new Bible so that I may make new markings and include old ones.) For example, for several years now, I have circled the word heart and double underlined the word great. Those are meaningful to me and even more so as I find them frequently in the Word of God. In addition, I will write the word promise next to all the promises I see. We sing “Standing on the Promises,” yet most Christians struggle to list twenty. I will also indicate in the margin every time money, silver, gold, wealth, and similar terms are mentioned.
Every January, I also seek to read the Bible in its entirety. Most people would not have the time to do that, especially if they are raising a family; but many of us would enjoy that opportunity. Perhaps you, too, could read great volumes of Scripture in the first month of the new year. Please do not fault this practice if you have not tried it. Scores of people have told me that it has been a tremendous blessing.
Family is not an activity we schedule in our calendars; family should be our lives. We should seek to be with our mates and children as much as possible. We ought to have daily prayers, laughter and play, correction and encouragement. We should plan special events, whether it is working together around the house, enjoying a picnic in the backyard, or planning vacations for the summer months. Family does not mean that we surround ourselves with just play. Every time there is a day off, we should not think of how we could go out-of-town—that will wear out your family more than help. It is my prayer that we will invest our lives in our families in 2014.
How are you going to spend the funds that God invests in your care? Perhaps you might think I am addressing only stewardship with the church, but I am referring to personal financials as well. Let us pay down our mortgages, our cars, and all debt.
As you know, the North Valley Baptist Church has embarked upon an ambitious campaign to pay down our mortgage. What started as a collective goal with the church family has motived many individuals to accomplish the same for themselves. Every person who makes a mortgage payment should know exactly what is being paid off the principal each month and how much more can be added to it. My prayer is that all of us will arrest our finances and set our houses in order.
Every Christian ought to be serving the King of kings. Let us not simply send a few people to the battle; everyone must be at the frontlines. Let us be involved in soul wining, prayer, holy living, door-knocking, working on a bus route, serving in the church, cleaning the properties, landscaping, painting, repairing, giving, and sacrificing—all for the cause of Christ.
Let us not allow the calendar year to come to us, but rather let us go to the calendar year. In these closing moments of 2013, let us invest time in setting goals for our walk with God, our families, our finances, and our service to Him so that 2014 will be nothing short of the best year of our lives, if the Lord should tarry in His coming. God bless each of you.