Speaking the Truth in Love

Some Biblical Challenges for 2018

Look for reasons to be grateful. Even when everything seems to be going wrong. “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess. 5:18).

Decide to rejoice. Paul encouraged the Philippians to “rejoice in the Lord always” (Phil. 4:4). Happiness depends on what’s happening. Joy is a choice.

Refuse to borrow tomorrow’s problems. Jesus says that “tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day” (Matt. 6:34).

Take personal responsibility for bad decisions. Adam blamed Eve for his sin, and Eve blamed the serpent. But the Lord didn’t buy it. Assuming personal responsibility always precedes genuine repentance.

Treat strangers like friends. After telling the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus said, “Go and do likewise” (Luke 10:37). Strangers treated like friends often become new friends.

Treat the family like strangers. “Let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” (Eph. 5:33). Sadly, some Christians show kindness and respect only to people they don’t know.

Attend every assembly of the church. The spiritually mature remember that the Lord’s return is imminent. Don’t neglect “to meet together,” the Bible says, “as you see the Day drawing near” (Heb. 10:25).

Read the entire Bible. This takes only about 15 minutes a day. The people of Beroea examined “the scriptures daily” (Acts 17:11).

Schedule times of private prayer. Daniel “got down upon his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God” (Dan. 6:10).

Grow in generosity. “Give,” Jesus says, “and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap” (Luke 6:38). In 2018, put the Lord’s promise to the test.

Seek the lost. “Now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2). This could be the last year of life for friends and loved ones separated from God.

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