The Big Four in 2014
Pray-1 Thessalonians 5:17 “pray continually”
Prayer is one of the main things we can do for one another. Prayer is powerful and effective. Each week churches all around the world gather for prayer. Our church like many have prayer requests that usually involve a practical, physical, or comfort need for ourselves or others. If you do not already do so let me suggest that we begin to pray not just for these things but also for the souls of the lost (some of them may even be in a church but have not yet given their lives to Christ), and also that God would reveal His Will to us and that we would have the courage to act upon it. Remember although Jesus taught His disciples many things this was the only time the disciples asked Jesus to specifically to teach them was to pray. He taught them what is known now as the Lord’s Prayer.
Read-Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”
Next to prayer the Bible is the clearest understanding we have of the movement of God throughout time. It is the picture of the awe-inspiring God of creation, His Son our Savior, the Holy Spirit, and the hope of final victory. There are many ways to read the Bible, but for most of us we do better if we have a plan. How many would commit to reading through the Bible in 2014?
There are great online resources on websites like www.biblegateway.com. Also if you are a smart phone user there are plans on apps like “the Bible” You Version. Most of these sites have reading through the Bible in a year (4-5 chapters a day), six months (8-9 chapters a day), or three months/90 days (16-18 chapters a day). *If you begin a 90 day read through now it will be challenging to do, but you will have read through the Bible before we celebrate Easter this year. What a great way to expand our understanding of the God of creation, His Son our Savior, the Holy Spirit, and the hope of final victory.
Love-1 Corinthians 13:13 “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
The Bible tells us that it is by our love for one another that the world will know that we are His disciples. It is possible to be people who pray, and read our Bibles, but the world will know we are His if we love one another. The way I am speaking of love here is one of choice and commitment that seeks the best for another person. It is not something that is emotional on the surface that changes with our whims or feelings. It can and often does become one of mutual emotional blessing as we seek what is best for one another God’s love grows within us. This is how the world will know that we are His, by our love for one another.
Serve-1 Corinthians 12:5-6 “There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.”
The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve. Jesus is our example that we should be serving in one another in our marriages, in our families, in our churches, in our communities, in our places of profession or schools, and in the world at large.
Service is perhaps the most visible reality that we are seeking to pray for one another and God’s direction for our lives and church; that we are reading His Word and allow it to shape our understanding of the character of God, will of God, and hope we have in God; the love of God is demonstrated in His Son Jesus Christ as one giving up Himself for our salvation and is also the clearest picture the world will have that we are His.
In serving one another in our marriages, in our families, in our churches, in our communities, in our places of profession or schools, and in the world at large, we are living out the reality of Christ in all our relationships. If we cannot serve the people whom we are closest to it will be difficult to live that out in the rest of our relationships. There are also some that would rather serve people they do not know because it could be a short-term or one time offering of help or service. A lifestyle of service is impossible without prayer, studying God’s Word, loving one another and the world. Would you commit in 2014 to be God’s people by being diligent in prayer, faithful in study, committed in love, and gracious in serving Him by serving others?
*I also have bookmarks for those that want to try to read through the Bible in 90 days.