Answer: Obedience to God proves our love for Him (1 John 5:2-3), demonstrates our faithfulness to Him (1 John 2:3-6), glorifies Him in the world (1 Peter 2:12), and opens avenues of blessing for us (John 13:17).
Faith is necessary to please God (Hebrews 11:6), and if our faith is genuine and true, we will live a lifestyle characterized by righteousness, modeling the example set for us by Jesus Christ. We obey His commands, not because we have to, but because we want to, because we love Him. We are enabled to obey because, once we believe in Christ and are saved, we are remade. We are not the same people we once were. As Paul wrote in 2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Pick your Bible reading Plan for 2018
You’ve done it. You’ve committed to reading the Bible all the way through in 2018. Pick a Bible reading plan today. That’s a great first step. Now, how do you stay on track with your plan for the whole year? These tips can help:
Keep the right perspective. Remember that you’re not reading just to check something off your list. You’re reading a book that’s useful for correction, instruction, and guidance. It’s your life GPS.
Get accountable. Reading with a group, a friend, or a spouse will certainly give you an extra boost. You can hold each other accountable and discuss what you’re reading.
Step away from the guilt. Don’t let Bible reading become a matter of guilt. It’s something you have the privilege of doing.
Change it up. You don’t have to just read the Bible; you can listen to it as well. Try reading out loud one day. Mixing things up will help you stay on track.
Be flexible. If you fall behind on your reading plan, don’t worry about meeting a specific deadline. Just read what you can when you can. Somedays you may only have time for one chapter. Other days you may have time for two days’ worth of readings. Even if your “one-year plan” takes two years, at least you’re reading. (Bonus tip: Our reading plans allow you to change the start date and see previous and upcoming dates if you need to be flexible. If your current plan is too much, you can also pick a different plan easily.)
Enjoy it. Reading the Bible isn’t a chore. It’s a chance to connect with God through His Word. Pray that the Holy Spirit will use Scripture to grab your attention and challenge you with what you discover.
Giving Your Personal Testimony ~ Soul Winning
Simple facts to know:
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when thinking about soul winning. Time is slipping away for many people in this world. According to “The World Factbook” by the CIA, almost 2 (1.7) people in the world die each second. 102 people die each minute, 6,098 people each hour, 146,347 die each day, 53.4 million people per year. Most of them are dying without Christ in their lives. Although we can not lead every one of these people to a saving knowledge of Christ, we need to do as much as we can to show everyone what it takes to go to Heaven.
Salvation in a testimony:
1. Tell the circumstances involved in your salvation.
2. Spell out exactly what salvation is. Be clear and simple.
Think: Could a person be saved by hearing that testimony alone?
3. As a general rule, it is good to quote at least one clear salvation verse, and no more than two. Eph.2:8-9; John 3:16; I John 5:13.
4. Always distinguish between faith and works, between salvation and service, Christ and religion.
5. Remember the gospel is the power of God unto salvation.
Rom. 1:16. Rely on His Word and the Holy Spirit.
How To Support Your Church
1. Be faithful to attend and participate
Commit yourself to the church and let them know they can count on you. Obviously, you can’t be of much help if you don’t show up or take part. Some people underestimate their value of simply being present. Joining together with others adds to their encouragement, and it encourages the leaders and the pastor who have prayed and prepared all week to minister to you (Heb. 10:24-25). It helps your pastor and the whole church for you to come faithfully and on time. And don’t merely sit there like a bump on a log. Be friendly, put a smile on your face, and enter into the service by singing and worshiping. You can even utter an audible Amen or two when the pastor makes a good point. Go ahead, it’ll make his day!
2. Commit yourself to love the Lord and your brethren
The Bible teaches that all the desires of God are condensed into only two cardinal commandments that Jesus gave to His followers. “ And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.” (Luke 10:27). By clothing ourselves in God’s love, we help the church to reinforce this objective for every believer, and we also help to eliminate the elements of conflict and division which can hinder the unity of the church. I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Eph. 4:1-3).
3. Pray for your church, its pastors, and leaders
The Apostle Paul explained that it is the duty of Christians to pray for all who are in authority, especially those in spiritual authority. I exhort, therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. (1 Tim. 2:1-2). Your church leaders are on the cutting edge of the battle with Satan and will face temptations and spiritual conflict, unlike anything you could imagine. The devil knows that if he can topple a spiritual leader or get him discouraged enough to quit, it will have a domino effect on the rest of the church. You can be a tremendous help by praying fervently for your church, and especially for the pastor and his family.
By Dr. Dale A. Robbins
10 Ways to Stand with Your Pastor
1. Let him know if his preaching is a help to you. Point out something specific God spoke to you about.
2. Assure him of your prayers for him and his family.
3. Show open support for projects he has prayed over and believes God wants the church to do.
4. Be slow to criticize him. He will make mistakes.
5. Realize that a true under-shepherd would rather die for the sheep than knowingly hurt them. Deal with him from this premise.
6. Pray for God’s hedge of protection around his family.
7. Tell him of the blessings of God in your life. Your faith and victory will strengthen his faith immeasurably.
8. Understand that one of the main ways he stays in touch with you personally is around the services of the church. Many communication issues can be handled after a church service. If you work in some capacity in the church, be sure to touch base with your pastor before you leave.
9. Receive his admonitions with grace. The unique responsibilities of a pastor involve many things in addition to preaching. Your pastor’s work out of the pulpit consists of many unseen efforts in dealing with individual needs and problems.
10. Know that God in His kindness to you has put it in the heart of one of His servants to watch for your soul. Your pastor is one of God’s gifts of grace to you intended to bring your family eternal profit by his preaching and teaching, as well as his shepherding.
“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” Hebrews 13:17