During this time of year people are hurrying about to get the “perfect” gift for people they love and know. 2012 will be over in about 2 weeks. This is an excellent time to review what we planned on doing, what we accomplished and what we plan on doing. Let’s look at a few things you can do.
What do you know that Christ require from us? (You’re now hearing the Jeopardy melody right now)
Ok, keep those thoughts in mind. How about becoming a better you. Everything we are going to cover with you boils down to having a “Spiritual Goal for 2013.”
The first thing that I think you should give God is this: Give yourself a goal of giving God a present next Christmas. Here are some suggestions for your 12 months of preparation:
† 12 – . Some people call their memorized verse their life verses. Others memorize Scriptures to help them through trying times. Still others use memorized Scriptures for encouragement. In the end, memorizing Scriptures can help in all the facets of your life. 12 Scriptures
- Go to the study with a list of questions. If you do this, it will help you in the learning process. It will also help your fellow Christians know how to assist you. Think along the lines of Prov 27:17.
- Your time at bible study is a time when you can really get to know more about the percepts in the bible. After all, you can’t interrupt the Pastor and ask a question during the sermon. In bible study you can ask all the questions you want.
- This isn’t a time punching exercise. It’s nice that you go to bible study but it shouldn’t be just to “check off” I go to bible study block.
- This link shows statistics on church attendance. At first glance the numbers seem outdated. However, they actually line-up with the numbers from my research for my book.
- Do a quick little fun survey. Click here for the question.
† 10 – Attend Sunday School at Least Ten (10) Times. See comments above.
† 9 – Go To A Prayer Meeting At Least Nine (9) Times. In going to a prayer meeting, you will grow spiritually in immeasurable ways. Here are a few:
- It will force you to focus on others instead of yourself
- It will provide you the path of discernment
- You’ll be a conduit for your family and community. You’ll be standing in their stead asking God to bless them
- It is the way of communicating to God in a corporate manner
- It’s another way to listen to God
† 8 – Learn Eight (8) Reasons Why You Believe in God. This will help you to be able to communicate His grace and love to others. It will also help you remember Who you belong to.
- He gave His only begotten Son ( )
- He gave you life
- He healed your body
† 7 – Learn Seven (7) Reasons Why You Are A Christian. No, this isn’t the same the previous bullet. Although, it is a bit similar. Think on how you are a follower of Christ. For example: He died for me. Or, as a Christian, I should show love to my fellow man.
† 6 – Discover Six (6) Ways “I can further the Gospel?” Or invite 6 people to church…you’ll only have to do it once every two months! If 30 of us invite 6 people…that’s nearly 200 people! If you do this…guess what? You’re evangelizing.
† 5 – Read Five (5) . Three OT and two NT. Depending on which survey you look at you’ll be surprised to know that most Christians haven’t read the entire bible. If you haven’t read the entire bible…don’t be dishearten. Today is the day that you can start learning more about and Savior. I suggest you start with the Gospel of John. This Gospel provides you with a great overview. I think Max Lucado said it best. If you don’t know a lot about the bible…start with John 3:16. If you know everything about the bible…start with John 3:16 (paraphrased). Listed below are some of the smaller books you can quickly read:
- 1-3 John, 1-2 Thes and Malachi
- You can also learn the order of the books of the bible…all 66.
- Better yet if you subtract , 1-2 Sam, , 1-2 Cor, 1-2 Tim and 1-3 John, you only have to memorize 53 books. You can memorize one per week.
I plan to provide a few commentary aides you can use to help you out.
† 4 – Read the Four (4) Gospels.
- You can read them chronologically (using a chronologically) or one at a time.
- Try and notice how they overlap
† 3 – Learn One Characteristic of the Father, Son and .
† 2 – Discover Your Spirit Gift or Gifts. Your pastor will help you with this. Many churches have inventories or classes that go over this. It seems like people have at least two gifts.
† 1 – Fast Once. You’ll find out how close you can come to God. Fasting is a basic principle Jesus practiced. (See Matt 6:16) Hopefully, this Fasting Guide can help you for the upcoming year.
Going the extra mile:
- Pray an extra minute for the growth and love of your church, your family, your friends, this ministry, something you saw in the newspaper or the news.
Bonus Info: In general, throughout the year your pastor will provide you about:
- 50 bible studies
- 50 Sunday School
- 50 or so sermons
- That’s at least 150 nuggets of truths you could have or should have or would have learned! Let’s not waste another 150 opportunities this new year. The teaching is there…you have to take it.
- Your life should measurably change if you only learn one thing from these 150 opportunities to learn.
If a cynic, agnostic or an unbeliever tells you the bible isn’t true…can you reasonably discuss this with him? I’m certain if you do the previously mentioned 78 things, you certainly will be able to. In short, these steps will allow you to talk about your faith and bring people to Christ. These suggestions will help you develop your own “evangelizing speech.” Perhaps more importantly, it will help you strengthen your walk.
Let me know your thoughts.