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Another Down; Another on the Way

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INTRO: Beginning a new year is one of those things in life that almost mandatorily to reflect on the past, and to look forward to the future.
A new year means...
We are closer to the day of our death or the day the Lord comes back, whichever comes first.
We are closer to the time when we must stand before Him and give an account of our lives; the day when He will say one of two things:
Matthew 25:34 NIV
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
The day when He will say one of two things
Or...
Matthew 25:41 NIV
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
Matthew
Imagine you are a minister of the Gospel, and there was a built-in day, or time, of the year when it was a guarantee, almost, that people would be considering their life past, present, and future.
As a New Year begins, I am reminded of the fact that we are one year closer to... a. The day of our death, or the day the Lord returns b. That day when we shall stand before the Lord in judgment - . That day when He will either say... 1) "Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" - 2) "Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels" - 2. Since we are one year closer to that day when our final destiny will be forever determined, let me use this opportunity... a. To provoke your thinking as to how you have used this past year b. To suggest some resolutions for the coming year [My goal is to encourage us to make better use of the time we have left, and to prepare us for the day of reckoning that awaits us. Let's begin, then, by asking...] I. IN THE PAST YEAR A. HAS OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AND CHRIST IMPROVED? 1. Have we drawn nearer to God? - cf. 2. Bearing in mind that a close relationship depends upon good communication... a. Have we been faithful in listening to God through His Word? 1) Another year has gone by; did we read through the Bible this year? 2) If not, and especially if we never have, can we honestly say that we are taking our relationship with God seriously? b. Have we been steadfast in talking to God through prayer? 1) Any effective communication requires a two-way street 2) Therefore fervent Bible study should be joined with fervent prayer 3) Has our degree of prayerfulness increased or decreased this year? B. HAS OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH BRETHREN IMPROVED? 1. Has our love for one another increased this year? - cf. 2. Are we any closer to one another than we were a year ago? a. E.g., have we been in the homes of brethren? b. E.g., have any of them been in our homes? 3. Do we even know who our brethren are? a. Each year brings new members into the family of God b. Have we made the effort to know them? Even by name? C. HAS OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THOSE IN THE WORLD IMPROVED? 1. As people of God, we have an important responsibility toward those in the world - cf. . To be a positive influence ("You are the salt of the earth") b. To demonstrate a better way ("You are the light of the world") 2. Have we made progress this year in developing meaningful relationships with people in the world? a. So the light of Christ can be seen in our lives b. So the gospel of Christ can be communicated to them 3. Or are we like most "neighbors" in this day and age... a. Living next to each other, but not really knowing each other? b. Having forgotten the lost art of "Southern hospitality"? [The questions I am raising can be summarized in this way: "Another year has gone by; have we made good use of the time the Lord has given us, or have we wasted it?" It is likely that all of us in some degree have not made good use of the past year. But at this point, let's apply the words of Paul: "Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." () With this attitude of pressing forward, let me suggest the following resolutions...] II. FOR THE YEAR AHEAD A. RESOLVE TO DRAW NEARER TO GOD AND CHRIST... 1. By having a daily reading program of God's living and abiding Word - . Read the Old Testament this year - cf. ; ; . Read the New Testament also - ; 2. By being diligent in prayer - . Let's be a thankful people - cf. ; . Perhaps Daniel's custom of praying three times daily would be worthy of emulation - B. RESOLVE TO BECOME CLOSER TO THE BRETHREN... 1. By making it a point to learn every one's name - cf. . Get a directory b. Each week, connect a couple of names and faces until you learn them all 2. By having a different person or family in your home each month - cf. . It doesn't have to be a fancy dinner b. Just a simple visit to become better acquainted 3. Or by visiting a different person or family each month a. It might not always be convenient to have people in your home b. But you can arrange to visit them in their home (if you are alone, take someone with you) C. RESOLVE TO GET TO KNOW NON-CHRISTIANS BETTER... 1. By having one new neighbor or co-worker in your home each month - cf. 2. Or by visiting one new neighbor or co-worker each month a. It doesn't have to be a fancy meal or formal visit b. It is amazing how far simple hospitality and neighborly kindness can go... 1) To build meaningful relationships 2) In which opportunities can be created to share the gospel CONCLUSION 1. These resolutions may sound simplistic; but if implemented, they go a long way... a. To producing the kind of lifestyle that is becoming of Christians b. To increasing closer relationships with God, our brethren, and the lost 1) That will bless our lives 2) And be a blessing to the church and our community c. To create a clearer conscience next year at this time 2. Time is a precious commodity, given to us by God... a. That is truly like a vapor - cf. . That needs to be carefully redeemed - cf. -- I hope that these suggestions for resolutions for a new year will help you in making better use of it! 3. Finally, let me share with you the following poem... "A New Year, A New Beginning" The old year ends, a new begins With pages clean and new; And what is written on each page will now depend on you. You can't relive the year that's past, Erasing every wrong; For once a year - or day - is spent, It is forever gone. But don't give up in dark despair If you have failed some test; Seek God's forgiveness and resolve Henceforth to do your best. Resolve each precious day to do Things good and kind and pure; Though days and years may pass away, These things shall still endure. You know not where your path may lead Nor what's beyond the hill; But know that God walks at your side, If you will do His will. All things are possible with God, Though days be bright or dim; So do your best and know that you Can leave the rest to Him. - Author Unknown If you are not a Christian, or you are a child of God who has strayed from the Lord, you need to make the best use of the time you have now... "We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says: `In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.' Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." ()
So, with that in mind let me ask you a couple of questions..
How did you use this past year?
Do you have resolutions for the coming year?

Do you have resolutions for the coming year?

You see, we all have a finite amount of time left on this earth; the young think that amount of time is defined as FOREVER, and the old sometimes fear death so much they see it lurking around every corner, just knowing they are leaving any minute. Neither is usually the case.
Let's begin, then, by asking...

1. IN THE PAST YEAR HAS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST IMPROVED?

1. Have we drawn nearer to God?
James 4:8 NIV
Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
2. Bearing in mind that a close relationship depends upon good communication... a. Have we been faithful in listening to God through His Word? 1) Another year has gone by; did we read through the Bible this year? 2) If not, and especially if we never have, can we honestly say that we are taking our relationship with God seriously? b. Have we been steadfast in talking to God through prayer? 1) Any effective communication requires a two-way street 2) Therefore fervent Bible study should be joined with fervent prayer 3) Has our degree of prayerfulness increased or decreased this year? B. HAS OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH BRETHREN IMPROVED? 1. Has our love for one another increased this year? - cf. 2. Are we any closer to one another than we were a year ago? a. E.g., have we been in the homes of brethren? b. E.g., have any of them been in our homes? 3. Do we even know who our brethren are? a. Each year brings new members into the family of God b. Have we made the effort to know them? Even by name? C. HAS OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THOSE IN THE WORLD IMPROVED? 1. As people of God, we have an important responsibility toward those in the world - cf. . To be a positive influence ("You are the salt of the earth") b. To demonstrate a better way ("You are the light of the world") 2. Have we made progress this year in developing meaningful relationships with people in the world? a. So the light of Christ can be seen in our lives b. So the gospel of Christ can be communicated to them 3. Or are we like most "neighbors" in this day and age... a. Living next to each other, but not really knowing each other? b. Having forgotten the lost art of "Southern hospitality"? [The questions I am raising can be summarized in this way: "Another year has gone by; have we made good use of the time the Lord has given us, or have we wasted it?" It is likely that all of us in some degree have not made good use of the past year. But at this point, let's apply the words of Paul: "Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." () With this attitude of pressing forward, let me suggest the following resolutions...] II. FOR THE YEAR AHEAD A. RESOLVE TO DRAW NEARER TO GOD AND CHRIST... 1. By having a daily reading program of God's living and abiding Word - . Read the Old Testament this year - cf. ; ; . Read the New Testament also - ; 2. By being diligent in prayer - . Let's be a thankful people - cf. ; . Perhaps Daniel's custom of praying three times daily would be worthy of emulation - B. RESOLVE TO BECOME CLOSER TO THE BRETHREN... 1. By making it a point to learn every one's name - cf. . Get a directory b. Each week, connect a couple of names and faces until you learn them all 2. By having a different person or family in your home each month - cf. . It doesn't have to be a fancy dinner b. Just a simple visit to become better acquainted 3. Or by visiting a different person or family each month a. It might not always be convenient to have people in your home b. But you can arrange to visit them in their home (if you are alone, take someone with you) C. RESOLVE TO GET TO KNOW NON-CHRISTIANS BETTER... 1. By having one new neighbor or co-worker in your home each month - cf. 2. Or by visiting one new neighbor or co-worker each month a. It doesn't have to be a fancy meal or formal visit b. It is amazing how far simple hospitality and neighborly kindness can go... 1) To build meaningful relationships 2) In which opportunities can be created to share the gospel CONCLUSION 1. These resolutions may sound simplistic; but if implemented, they go a long way... a. To producing the kind of lifestyle that is becoming of Christians b. To increasing closer relationships with God, our brethren, and the lost 1) That will bless our lives 2) And be a blessing to the church and our community c. To create a clearer conscience next year at this time 2. Time is a precious commodity, given to us by God... a. That is truly like a vapor - cf. . That needs to be carefully redeemed - cf. -- I hope that these suggestions for resolutions for a new year will help you in making better use of it! 3. Finally, let me share with you the following poem... "A New Year, A New Beginning" The old year ends, a new begins With pages clean and new; And what is written on each page will now depend on you. You can't relive the year that's past, Erasing every wrong; For once a year - or day - is spent, It is forever gone. But don't give up in dark despair If you have failed some test; Seek God's forgiveness and resolve Henceforth to do your best. Resolve each precious day to do Things good and kind and pure; Though days and years may pass away, These things shall still endure. You know not where your path may lead Nor what's beyond the hill; But know that God walks at your side, If you will do His will. All things are possible with God, Though days be bright or dim; So do your best and know that you Can leave the rest to Him. - Author Unknown If you are not a Christian, or you are a child of God who has strayed from the Lord, you need to make the best use of the time you have now... "We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says: `In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.' Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." ()
2. Bearing in mind that a close relationship depends upon good communication... a. Have we been faithful in listening to God through His Word? 1) Another year has gone by; did we read through the Bible this year? 2) If not, and especially if we never have, can we honestly say that we are taking our relationship with God seriously? b. Have we been steadfast in talking to God through prayer? 1) Any effective communication requires a two-way street 2) Therefore fervent Bible study should be joined with fervent prayer 3) Has our degree of prayerfulness increased or decreased this year? B. HAS OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH BRETHREN IMPROVED? 1. Has our love for one another increased this year? - cf. 1 Th 4:9-10 2. Are we any closer to one another than we were a year ago? a. E.g., have we been in the homes of brethren? b. E.g., have any of them been in our homes? 3. Do we even know who our brethren are? a. Each year brings new members into the family of God b. Have we made the effort to know them? Even by name? C. HAS OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THOSE IN THE WORLD IMPROVED? 1. As people of God, we have an important responsibility toward those in the world - cf. Mt 5:13-16 a. To be a positive influence ("You are the salt of the earth") b. To demonstrate a better way ("You are the light of the world") 2. Have we made progress this year in developing meaningful relationships with people in the world? a. So the light of Christ can be seen in our lives b. So the gospel of Christ can be communicated to them 3. Or are we like most "neighbors" in this day and age... a. Living next to each other, but not really knowing each other? b. Having forgotten the lost art of "Southern hospitality"? [The questions I am raising can be summarized in this way: "Another year has gone by; have we made good use of the time the Lord has given us, or have we wasted it?" It is likely that all of us in some degree have not made good use of the past year. But at this point, let's apply the words of Paul: "Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Php 3:13-14) With this attitude of pressing forward, let me suggest the following resolutions...] II. FOR THE YEAR AHEAD A. RESOLVE TO DRAW NEARER TO GOD AND CHRIST... 1. By having a daily reading program of God's living and abiding Word - He 4:12 a. Read the Old Testament this year - cf. Ro 15:4; 1Co 10:11; 2Ti 3:14-17 b. Read the New Testament also - Jm 1:21; 1Pe 2:2 2. By being diligent in prayer - He 4:14-16 a. Let's be a thankful people - cf. Col 4:2; 1Th 5:17-18 b. Perhaps Daniel's custom of praying three times daily would be worthy of emulation - Dan 6:10 B. RESOLVE TO BECOME CLOSER TO THE BRETHREN... 1. By making it a point to learn every one's name - cf. 3Jn 14 a. Get a directory b. Each week, connect a couple of names and faces until you learn them all 2. By having a different person or family in your home each month - cf. 1Pe 4:9 a. It doesn't have to be a fancy dinner b. Just a simple visit to become better acquainted 3. Or by visiting a different person or family each month a. It might not always be convenient to have people in your home b. But you can arrange to visit them in their home (if you are alone, take someone with you) C. RESOLVE TO GET TO KNOW NON-CHRISTIANS BETTER... 1. By having one new neighbor or co-worker in your home each month - cf. Ga 6:10 2. Or by visiting one new neighbor or co-worker each month a. It doesn't have to be a fancy meal or formal visit b. It is amazing how far simple hospitality and neighborly kindness can go... 1) To build meaningful relationships 2) In which opportunities can be created to share the gospel CONCLUSION 1. These resolutions may sound simplistic; but if implemented, they go a long way... a. To producing the kind of lifestyle that is becoming of Christians b. To increasing closer relationships with God, our brethren, and the lost 1) That will bless our lives 2) And be a blessing to the church and our community c. To create a clearer conscience next year at this time 2. Time is a precious commodity, given to us by God... a. That is truly like a vapor - cf. Jm 4:13-15 b. That needs to be carefully redeemed - cf. Ep 5:15-16 -- I hope that these suggestions for resolutions for a new year will help you in making better use of it! 3. Finally, let me share with you the following poem... "A New Year, A New Beginning" The old year ends, a new begins With pages clean and new; And what is written on each page will now depend on you. You can't relive the year that's past, Erasing every wrong; For once a year - or day - is spent, It is forever gone. But don't give up in dark despair If you have failed some test; Seek God's forgiveness and resolve Henceforth to do your best. Resolve each precious day to do Things good and kind and pure; Though days and years may pass away, These things shall still endure. You know not where your path may lead Nor what's beyond the hill; But know that God walks at your side, If you will do His will. All things are possible with God, Though days be bright or dim; So do your best and know that you Can leave the rest to Him. - Author Unknown If you are not a Christian, or you are a child of God who has strayed from the Lord, you need to make the best use of the time you have now... "We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says: `In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.' Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (2Co 6:1-2)
2. Are you bearing in mind that a close relationship depends upon good communication...
Have we been faithful in listening to God through His Word?
Another year has gone by; did you read the Bible more this year?
If not, can we honestly say that we are taking our relationship with God seriously?
Have we been steadfast in talking to God through prayer?
Any effective communication requires a two-way street.
Consistent Bible study should be joined with consistent prayer
Has the amount of time we spend communicating with God increased or decreased this past year?

2. HAS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST IMPROVED?

1. Has our love for one another increased this year?
2. Are we any closer to one another than we were a year ago? a. E.g., have we been in the homes of brethren? b. E.g., have any of them been in our homes? 3. Do we even know who our brethren are? a. Each year brings new members into the family of God b. Have we made the effort to knTow them? Even by name?
1 Thessalonians 4:9–10 NIV
Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more,
2. As a church, are we any closer to one another than we were a year ago?
Have we met new people, and formed deeper relationships?
Look around today, do you even know who everyone is?
Each year brings new people into our midst, and it’s important to make an effort to get to know them.
Have you made that effort?

3. HAS OUR RELATIONSHIP IMPROVED WITH THOSE IN THE WORLD?

As people of God, we have an important responsibility toward those in the world.
. To be a positive influence ("You are the salt of the earth") b. To demonstrate a better way ("You are the light of the world") 2. Have we made progress this year in developing meaningful relationships with people in the world? a. So the light of Christ can be seen in our lives b. So the gospel of Christ can be communicated to them 3. Or are we like most "neighbors" in this day and age... a. Living next to each other, but not really knowing each other? b. Having forgotten the lost art of "Southern hospitality"?
Matthew 5:13–16 NIV
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:13–16 NIV
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
To be a positive influence ("You are the salt of the earth") b. To demonstrate a better way ("You are the light of the world") 2. Have we made progress this year in developing meaningful relationships with people in the world? a. So the light of Christ can be seen in our lives b. So the gospel of Christ can be communicated to them 3. Or are we like most "neighbors" in this day and age... a. Living next to each other, but not really knowing each other? b. Having forgotten the lost art of "Southern hospitality"?
To be a positive influence is to be salt and light in this world
The world should be better because we are here!
You are here to demonstrate a better way ("You are the light of the world") 2. Have we made progress this year in developing meaningful relationships with people in the world? a. So the light of Christ can be seen in our lives b. So the gospel of Christ can be communicated to them 3. Or are we like most "neighbors" in this day and age... a. Living next to each other, but not really knowing each other? b. Having forgotten the lost art of "Southern hospitality"?
You are here to demonstrate a better way; that’s what being the “light” is all about
Have you made progress this year in developing meaningful relationships with people in the world?
...demonstrate a better way ("You are the light of the world") 2. Have we made progress this year in developing meaningful relationships with people in the world? a. So the light of Christ can be seen in our lives b. So the gospel of Christ can be communicated to them 3. Or are we like most "neighbors" in this day and age... a. Living next to each other, but not really knowing each other? b. Having forgotten the lost art of "Southern hospitality"?
Why? So the light of Christ can be seen in our lives.
So the gospel of Christ can be communicated to them.
Or are we like most "neighbors" in this day and age...
Living next to each other, but not really knowing each other?
We may be losing forever the notion of hospitality if we are not working on our relationships, and and being salt and light in the world..

Have we truly LIVED this past year in the sense that God has called us to live, or have we wasted another 365 days?

"Another year has gone by; have we made good use of the time the Lord has given us, or have we wasted it?"
Well, here’s some good news, another year begins tomorrow! So if you’re looking for some ideas for New Year’s resolutions, consider these.

1. RESOLVE TO DRAW NEARER TOJESUS!

Commit to spending time in the Word
. Read the Old Testament this year - cf. ; ; . Read the New Testament also - ; 2. By being diligent in prayer - . Let's be a thankful people - cf. ; . Perhaps Daniel's custom of praying three times daily would be worthy of emulation -
Hebrews 4:12 NIV
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
There are so many apps, websites, reading plans, devotionals, and the like that there is really no excuse for not being knowledgeable about the God’s Word to some degree.
God does not require you to be a Bible scholar, but He does encourage each and every one to read His Word!
; ; . Read the New Testament also - ; 2. By being diligent in prayer - . Let's be a thankful people - cf. ; . Perhaps Daniel's custom of praying three times daily would be worthy of emulation -
Look at these scriptures about the Bibel, and its benefit to us...
Romans 15:4 NIV
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
; . Read the New Testament also - ; 2. By being diligent in prayer - . Let's be a thankful people - cf. ; . Perhaps Daniel's custom of praying three times daily would be worthy of emulation -
1 Corinthians 10:11 NIV
These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come.
2 Timothy 3:14–17 NIV
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
. Read the New Testament also - ; 2. By being diligent in prayer - . Let's be a thankful people - cf. ; . Perhaps Daniel's custom of praying three times daily would be worthy of emulation -
James 1:21 NIV
Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
; 2. By being diligent in prayer - . Let's be a thankful people - cf. ; . Perhaps Daniel's custom of praying three times daily would be worthy of emulation -
1 Peter 2:2 NIV
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,
. Let's be a thankful people - cf. ; . Perhaps Daniel's custom of praying three times daily would be worthy of emulation -
Hebrews 4:14–16 NIV
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
We should be so thankful that we have God’s Word!
Also, though, commit to prayer in 2018.
; . Perhaps Daniel's custom of praying three times daily would be worthy of emulation -
Colossians 4:2 NIV
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
. Perhaps Daniel's custom of praying three times daily would be worthy of emulation -
1 Thessalonians 5:17–18 NIV
pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Develop a time(s) for prayer in your life.

2. RESOLVE TO BECOME CLOSER TO THE OTHER CHRISTIANS.

Daniel 6:10 NIV
Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.
Get closer by making it a point to learn every one's name!
. Get a directory b. Each week, connect a couple of names and faces until you learn them all 2. By having a different person or family in your home each month - cf. . It doesn't have to be a fancy dinner b. Just a simple visit to become better acquainted 3. Or by visiting a different person or family each month a. It might not always be convenient to have people in your home b. But you can arrange to visit them in their home (if you are alone, take someone with you)
3 John 14 NIV
I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face. Peace to you. The friends here send their greetings. Greet the friends there by name.
Very soon, we will have a brand new church directory.
Each week, connect a couple of names and faces until you learn them all.
Invite someone to dinner!
. It doesn't have to be a fancy dinner b. Just a simple visit to become better acquainted 3. Or by visiting a different person or family each month a. It might not always be convenient to have people in your home b. But you can arrange to visit them in their home (if you are alone, take someone with you)
1 Peter 4:9 NIV
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
Get to know one another!
Just a simple visit to become better acquainted 3. Or by visiting a different person or family each month a. It might not always be convenient to have people in your home b. But you can arrange to visit them in their home (if you are alone, take someone with you)

3. RESOLVE TO GET TO KNOW NON-CHRISTIANS BETTER.

I’m convinced that if we will pray, then pay attention, God will direct people to us, or us to poeple who need Jesus to be their Lord and Savior.
2. Or by visiting one new neighbor or co-worker each month a. It doesn't have to be a fancy meal or formal visit b. It is amazing how far simple hospitality and neighborly kindness can go... 1) To build meaningful relationships 2) In which opportunities can be created to share the gospel
Galatians 6:10 NIV
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
By having one new neighbor or co-worker in your home each month - cf. 2. Or by visiting one new neighbor or co-worker each month a. It doesn't have to be a fancy meal or formal visit b. It is amazing how far simple hospitality and neighborly kindness can go... 1) To build meaningful relationships 2) In which opportunities can be created to share the gospel
Our greatest failure as the American Church is the idea that we are separate form the culture; we think that are saved so that we can exit the culture around us, and await the glorious appearing of Jesus to take us away from all this.
Who will be saved if we NEVER interact with non-Christians?
If all of our heartfelt interactions are reserved for only those that already serve the Lord, then what is our purpose for being here?
CLOSE: These resolutions may sound simplistic, or even trivial, but if implemented, they go a long way...
…to producing the kind of lifestyle that is becoming of Christians.
…to increasing closer relationships with God, other Christians, and the lost.
Our lives will be blessed, our chruch will be blessed, and our communities will be blessed through these simple disciplines.
Then, next year at this time, when I ask these kinds of questions about how well you developed your relationship with God, and your Christian character next year, you can face these issues with a clear conscience.
Time is precious; ask any parent of a child.
. That needs to be carefully redeemed - cf. -- I hope that these suggestions for resolutions for a new year will help you in making better use of it! 3. Finally, let me share with you the following poem...
James 4:13–15 NIV
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
-- I hope that these suggestions for resolutions for a new year will help you in making better use of it! 3. Finally, let me share with you the following poem...
Ephesians 5:15–16 NIV
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
I hope you will consider making 2018 the best year of your Christian walk with Christ.
There may not be 2019 for some of us, and if the Lord’s time for return comes to pass, there will be no 2019 for any of us!

Resolve to be completely His in 2018!

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