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New Year New Beginning

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We always hear about New Year's resolutions. We make them and resolve to follow through, but somehow we just don't get around to them. So here are some important ways biblically to not only make a resolution for the better year but a life change that can absolutely make a difference:

  1. Be sure to start each day and end each day speaking and listening to God. Through prayer and supplication which is the act of making oneself humble before God , not praying like your making an order at the drive through window of your favorite fast food place. Make sure you take the time to commune with God as you would a spouse. You wouldn't bark out and not listen to or discuss in a loving way to the one you're married to, then why treat God with lesser respect. Jesus said if the love for him should appear so great that in comparison to the others we love would almost seem a preferential difference that we appear to despise even our spouse in comparison.
  2. Let God speak: read His word for the context not just the content. Really study what it says and why. Ask yourself how it could apply to you as you read. And remember that studying the word of God is not just reading to be reading as you would a novel. God's word is alive and are the thoughts of God towards us, so let him speak; even if the terminology is difficult. Use a good Bible dictionary or commentary to help get a deeper understanding.
  3. Live your life as Jesus commanded. If he said do it then do it, if he said not do it then don't do it. Remember we show love and respect for him when we keep His commandments.

Micah 6:8 " No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
    and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God."

Posted by William Price with

Personal Benefits For Sharing The Gospel

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Sharing one's faith often is the mature believer's Achilles' heel. As we grow in grace in all other areas of the faith, we tend to lag behind in preaching the Gospel to unbelievers in our workplaces and neighborhoods. Excuses for our lack of obedience in this area abound.

While we see the immediate benefits that sharing our faith has toward unbelievers, we do not see the immediate benefits that sharing our faith has toward ourselves. Yet the benefits toward our own walks with the Lord should move us to share. Here are four benefits:

Sharing Expands Your Study of the Bible and Theology

As you share your faith with unbelievers, especially those less familiar with Christian culture and jargon, they are likely to raise questions about the Christian faith. In particular, they are likely to raise questions related to evil in the world or current events. But we do not always have the answers. So then we have to go back to the Scriptures, pull out commentaries, apologetics books, and systematic theologies so that we can be better equipped for answers to future questions. "Why is it that you must believe in theism in order to be morally good when many atheists seem to be upright citizens?" "Is Cain's wife a problem for the trustworthiness of Scripture?" You will need to study in order to answer these questions and give reason for your hope (1 Peter 3:15). In the process of study, your own knowledge of Scripture and theology will deepen.

Sharing Encourages You to deepen in Prayer

Regularly sharing your faith quickly will lead you to people who are hostile or simply will not listen to reason. Unfortunately, when we run into such people, we might be tempted to "win" an argument rather than explain the Gospel. This is prideful response—a one that focuses on oneself and the desire to be victorious rather than defeated. In effect, we act as if the Lord would be glorified only by our power to convince another. We fall into this self-centered response due to a lack of dependency on the Spirit (cf. Mark 14:38). In contrast, the Spirit's power comes through prayer (Acts 4:31).

Sharing Fosters Humility When We Realize our Weakness to Rescue a Soul

Being full of the Spirit through prayer does not guarantee the conversion of the one with whom we are sharing. Even our clearest presentations of the Gospel with the most loving approaches toward the unbeliever cannot make someone respond to the truth about Christ. A heart that is blind to God's glory, corrupt in its thinking about God, hateful toward its creator, and completely unregenerate is not overcome by the craftiness or perfection of our speaking. Only the power of Christ opens lost eyes to salvation in Christ; it is a work of divine grace and mercy, not of human skill.

For someone burdened for the souls of the lost, this can be frustrating. However, it should be humbling, for our lack of ability to convert a soul shows that we are yet helpless. Being helpless, we are unable to view ourselves as significant, important, or powerful. Instead, we are insignificant, unimportant, and weak. With this view of ourselves, we are prepared to receive great grace, "for God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6).

Moreover, Christ told his disciples that they would reap [souls] for "harvest" (salvation) where others had sown [the Gospel] (John 4:38). When we witness someone's eyes open to Christ as a result of our sharing the Gospel, even then it is because of work on the part of God through others. We, weak as we are to save a soul, only have been vessels of the Gospel.       

Posted by William Price with