God has provided means for our growth. Those means are freely available for every believer, certainly every believer in the Western world. The problem that most professing believers face is not one of ignorance, but rather of desire and felt need.
Do I want to do these things? Do I need to do these things? I want the results (being a strong Christian) but do I want the results badly enough to do what I need to do to have the results? Allow seven words of exhortation for the coming year.
1. Commit yourself to the daily intake of God’s word
-Read or listen to the Bible daily
-The blessed man meditates upon God’s word.
-Hide God’s word in your heart.
2. Commit yourself to the stated meetings of the church
Every single meeting of the church for instruction, worship, and prayer is designed to bring glory to God and to bring help to your on the pilgrim pathway. By willfully absenting yourselves from those meetings your are denying yourself crucial nutrition for your soul.
3. Commit yourself to mortifying sins
Is there some nagging issue in your life, some place of disquiet in your soul, some thing which saps your strength and your assurance, the lingering issue of concern regarding your soul, some sin which easily ensnares you? When will it be dealt with? Shall sin have dominion over you? Has God placed the resources at hand–prayer and the word and the Spirit to aid you in overcoming it? Does he desire victory? Will he provide the way of escape that you may be able to endure it?
4. Commit yourself to hospitality
1 Peter 4:9 9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.
Hospitality generally speaking refers to showing love to strangers–taking in the traveler, but here it is expressed within the church. Every member in the church has something to offer you and you have something to offer every member. Can you receive or give these benefits on the Lord’s Day and at prayer meeting only?
5. Commit yourself to dealing with unnecessary distractions
We all have distractions in our lives. Our jobs and daily human needs, our commitments to family, etc. But are there things that fill our time and our affections which detract from the great issues of life?
6. Commit yourself to study (read a good biography, find a good book on a doctrinal subject)
I have found few things more helpful and challenging than the reading of a good biography. When I say good–I am referring to a worthy subject, a well written treatment and what I will call realism–not fawning praise, not the presentation of perfection, but real progress of real pilgrims
7. Enjoy the rich benefits of a sanctified Lord’s Day
Here is a day, by divine design, to aid us in delighting in God. Here is a day designed to be for us a foretaste of heaven. A declension in our commitment to its benefits will not promote heavenly ends.
May God help us to grow strong in the coming year!Jim Savastio, Pastor Reformed Baptist Church of Louisville