William J. Stewart
Another year has passed. Just a few more days, and 1997 will be but a time in history. That requires of us that we look ahead. We often make plans for ourselves at the end of the year, and this year I suppose will be no exception. We plan where it is that we might desire to go on a vacation in the coming year. We plan for ourselves a budget to help save money. We plan on buying certain new items. Getting certain bills paid off, etc, etc, etc.
In the midst of our planning, there are some important things we must keep in mind. We must set objectives not only for our physical life, but also four our spiritual. We must set ourselves some realistic goals and work to the end of achieving them. Consider the following:
- Read the Bible through in the next 365 days;
- Be in attendance at every meeting of the saints possible;
- Show hospitality on a constant basis;
- Provide more encouragement to brethren than in the past;
- Talk with friends, family members and acquaintances about the good news of God.
These are just a few things that each of us might think of for ourselves. We must however see the necessity for us to grow as a Christian in the year 1998. If we are not a growing Christian, then we are a dying Christian. Therefore, it behooves us that we grow.
Beyond setting personal spiritual goals, the local congregation of the Lord’s people ought to set goals for 1998. We must take hold of our purpose and work. Jesus while on earth worked continually to the end that He might seek and save that which was lost. We, being the people of God must commit ourselves to this very task. Following are just a few goals that we might work on and achieve in the coming year:
- Gain the involvement of each and every member in the work of the church;
- Grow as a unit. We must continually encourage one another. We must look out for one another, that Satan may not draw any away.
- Effectively evangelize in the community. We must take our duty seriously and find effective ways to share the gospel with those who are about us;
- Stand for truth. In a world in which gospel truth is side-railed in the interest of the doctrines of men, we must stand firm. Though many brethren in other areas might receive the doctrines of men as commandments, and teach such, we must stand firm and fast on the pure gospel of Christ.
Brethren, let us grow in love, faith, purity, zeal, etc. Let us enter 1998 with clear goals leading towards a successful year in the service of the most high God. Let us grow as individuals firstly, for we will not grow as a group unless each individual is strengthened. Then, may we commit ourselves fully to the cause of Christ, to the spreading of the truth of God, that souls might be saved.