Jesus said that in the world we will have trouble (John 16:33). Job said, “Man born of woman will have trouble as surely as the sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7). See also Psalm 34:19. Sometimes the challenges are so intense we can be severely distressed.
Seven ways to live 2018 in the fullness of God:
1. Commit to acknowledge God in all your ways (Proverbs 3:5,6)
Many times we make decisions and then ask God to bless them: this year start off by bringing God’s Word and God’s Spirit into every major decision and give Him opportunity to speak to you and guide you.
2. Don’t live in anxiety ( Philippians 4:6,7)
Make a commitment to give all your fears and burdens to the Lord instead of holding onto them and worrying. Jesus said by your worrying you cannot accomplish anything positive (Mt. 6:27) Fret not – it only leads to evil (Psalm 37:8).
3. Give thanks in everything (not for everything – 1 Thes. 5:18)
People who live in thankfulness to God appreciate Him and release Him to multiply blessings in their life! Whatever you are thankful for multiplies and is attracted to you; grumbling and complaining poisons a good atmosphere and hinders the release of your faith.
4. Live first and foremost for Jesus / not for yourself (Colossians 1:16-19)
We were created for Jesus and God’s glory — not to fulfill our own self-centered desires.
5. Live in continual hunger for God
It’s not enough merely to be loyal, faithful, and committed to God– God is pleased when we desire and seek after Him (John 4:23,24). Only those who hunger and thirst for Him will be filled (Mt. 5:6).
6. Strive to help others fulfill their calling
Jesus said the greatest in the Kingdom is the one who serves others ( John 14:14). If you live to serve others you will never lack others serving and loving you!
7. Be committed to the life and flow of a bible-centered local congregation
When we become children of God we immediately are baptized into the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians12:12,13). If we are not functioning with and for other members of a local community of faith, we are like a finger who tries to function without a hand, wrist, or arm! There is no such thing as individual destiny or purpose — we are all individual members who need a body to fulfill our purpose.
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There is a huge emphasis nowadays in the Evangelical church related to evangelism, church planting and the like. This is good since the church should never be separated from its mission of proclaiming Jesus to this lost world. In light of this, I believe the church will fall far short of our goals unless we incorporate the power of signs, wonders and miracles into our methodological norm for evangelism.
Often, when we are sharing the gospel with an unbeliever we think that we must begin with a blank slate in regards to their understanding of and adherence to God and salvation. We try our best to understand their perspective and their personal narrative and see how we can fit in the gospel message.
The Bible teaches that without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Thus, it is imperative that God’s people learn how to cultivate faith in their daily walk. It is also imperative that those who are not yet in the Body of Christ have the opportunity to experience faith for salvation.
In this day and age, gifts and personality seem to be of premier importance in the Evangelical church. Many are building their ministries on the aura of gifted people with the manifestation of persona overshadowing the presence of God! All this, in spite of numerous biblical passages telling us that God opposes the proud and unbroken, and lifts up the lowly (see Isaiah 57 and Psalm 138:6).
It doesn’t take us much time to realize that there is something terribly wrong within our own souls and with the world. The best the world has to offer us is filled with challenges, sorrow and pain. It’s like a person who looks happy and healthy on the outside but every once in a while feels pain when he moves a certain way. Then he gets a checkup and finds he has stage four cancer throughout his body. Even before we were Christ-followers we knew something was wrong. Deep inside we know we are sinners, alienated from our Creator. Something has always been wrong even if we couldn’t tell exactly what it was.
There is perhaps no greater battlefield we will ever deal with than our families. When Satan wanted the whole human race to fall, his first order of business was to divide a husband and wife from one another and from their God, who holds their marriage union together (read Genesis 3:1-8). If Satan divides and deceives a husband and wife, then he has a greater chance of getting their children as well.
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