The beginning of a new year is a good time to review the basics.
Daily read the Scriptures Psalm one illustrates the importance of keeping God’s words in our mind. It says those who delight in the law of Yahweh and meditate therein day and night will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water. Such a person produces godly fruit which does not wither, and in whatever he does, he prospers. What we think determines how we interpret what happens to us more so than that which actually occurs. God’s word helps us to think right.
PRAYER God always respects man’s choice and insists that we exercise our will to have Him involved in our lives. He never forces or controls humans for to do so would erode the foundation of faith and love. The devil is also restricted by this law. Although it may seem like he influences people independent of their will, it is never so. The person allows the evil in by choice, usually by believing a lie; nonetheless, free will is exercised. Prayer is our freewill choice to invite God into our lives, while sin is the choice to allow Satan in.
FELLOWSHIP Living the holy life Jesus died to make available is hard. We need the help of others who are committed to the same lifestyle. Two opposite concerns are included with fellowship. We are to avoid fellowship with those who are ungodly and embrace it with those who are godly. In 2 Corinthians 6:14 and 15, we are told “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Hebrews 10:24 and 25 states the other side: “and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”
GIVING Jesus Christ brought much attention to giving throughout his ministry with the greatest example of giving being his own life on the cross. In the context of financial giving, the Apostle Paul refers to the cross in 2 Corinthians 8:9: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.” The significance is found in the extreme quality of the gift and the godly attitude of the giver. His attitude is held up as the standard for all giving including tithes and offerings. Paul elaborates in 2 Corinthians 9:6 and 7, “Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
WITNESSING Our mission as Christians commanded by our Lord is to evangelize and disciple all who are willing. If we believe that the gospel is necessary for salvation, we should be dedicated to preaching the life-saving gospel. In addition, we are to be committed to developing Christians by the process of discipleship which is an effort to help people to live a holy life (following the commands of Christ). As we help others to know the Lord Jesus the Christ and God the Father, we fulfill our own purpose in life.