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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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A NEW YEAR’S PRAYER

Samuel A CainO Mighty God,

Thank You for allowing us to see the beginning of another year. Thank You for the goodness of your grace. Thank you for more time to serve you and to glorify your Name. Thank you for more time to gain Gospel progress. Thank you for the grace that will allow us to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Forgive us for the sins we have committed in the year past. Forgive us for any actions that have dishonored your Name. Forgive us for neglecting the things we should have done in your Name, but did not do. Forgive us for any thoughts that were contrary to the mind of Christ.

As we welcome in this New Year, give us the faith to master our fears of the unknown. Be our shepherd, Lord, and guide us with your Wisdom. We are blessed that You give us everything we need to follow You. We are blessed that You comfort us in our time of need. Continue reading

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MAKING DECISIONS IN THE NEW YEAR

John MacArthurI ran across this article recently and I thought it contained some excellent advice. Consequently, I am sharing some of it with you. John MacArthur offers us seven principles for making good decisions in the New Year.

         Will it benefit me spiritually?

All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify (1 Cor. 10:23).

  • Will it bring bondage?

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything (1 Cor. 6:12).

  • Will it defile God’s temple?

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

  • Will it cause anyone to stumble?

Food will not commend us to God; we are neither the worse if we do not eat, nor the better if we do eat. But take care lest this liberty of yours somehow become a stumbling block to the weak (1 Cor. 8:8-9).

  • Will it further the cause of evangelism?

Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God; just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of the many, that they may be saved (1 Cor. 10:32-33).

  • Will it violate my conscience?

He who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin (Rom. 14:23).

  • Will it bring glory to God?

Therefore, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31).

That verse is clearly both the summary and the goal of all the principles listed above. Isn’t our heart’s cry to glorify our Lord and Savior with our lives? Think about your decision—Will He be glorified, honored, and praised through it? May we say along with Jesus, “I glorified You on the earth” (John 17:4).

So the next time you face a decision where Scripture is less than specific or overt, run it through the principles above and enjoy your freedom in Christ. Happy New Year from Grace to You! (The excerpts above are from John MacArthur’s article “Decision Making to the Glory of God”, 2010. If you wish to read the complete article, click on GRACE TO YOU.)

 

 

 

MAKING THE BEST USE OF TIME

Samuel A CainLook carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16 ESV)

Another year comes to an end. Wednesday night at 12:00 a.m. a New Year begins. It is an unfortunate attribute of aging that time seems to go by faster and faster. The clock and calendar seem to have wings. Time is short and there are so many responsibilities to perform that we often neglect our spiritual essentials.

The welfare of our souls in this life depends on using our time wisely. Time is precious, “yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” (James 4:14 ESV) We too, need time and fellowship with our Father. (Luke 2:49 ESV) We have a short time to prepare for eternity. Continue reading

A NEW SOUL

G. K. ChestertonG. K. Chesterton:

The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul.

 

Whatever the New Year Brings. . . .

Have a Happy New Year in Christ!

A.W. Tozer:

I do not advise that we end the year on a somber note. The march, not the dirge, has ever been the music of Christianity. If we are good students in the school of life, there is much that the years have to teach us. But the Christian is more than a student, more than a philosopher. He is a believer, and the object of his faith makes the difference, the mighty difference. Of all persons the Christian should be best prepared for whatever the New Year brings. He has dealt with life at its source. In Christ he has disposed of a thousand enemies that other men must face alone and unprepared. He can face his tomorrow cheerful and unafraid because yesterday he turned his feet into the ways of peace and today he lives in God. The man who has made God his dwelling place will always have a safe habitation. (The Warfare of the Spirit)

Facing A New Year

A. W. Tozer

From the desk of A.W. Tozer:

I do not advise that we end the year on a somber note. The march, not the dirge, has ever been the music of Christianity. If we are good students in the school of life, there is much that the years have to teach us. But the Christian is more than a student, more than a philosopher. He is a believer, and the object of his faith makes the difference, the mighty difference. Of all persons the Christian should be best prepared for whatever the New Year brings. He has dealt with life at its source. In Christ he has disposed of a thousand enemies that other men must face alone and unprepared. He can face his tomorrow cheerful and unafraid because yesterday he turned his feet into the ways of peace and today he lives in God. The man who has made God his dwelling place will always have a safe habitation. (The Warfare of the Spirit)

Thoughts On Time And The New Year

From the desk of Steven B. Cloud:

Though even thinking on the subject of time may prove discomforting, it is not a bad idea—especially at the beginning of a new year.

As we look into 2012, we look at a block of time. We see 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8,760 hours, 525,600 minutes, 31,536,000 seconds. And all is a gift from God. We have done nothing to deserve it, earn it, or purchased it. Like the air we breathe, time comes to us as a part of life. . . .

Another important thing about time is that you cannot stop it. There is no way to slow it down, turn it off, or adjust it. Time marches on.

And you cannot bring back time. Once it is gone, it is gone. Yesterday is lost forever. If yesterday is lost, tomorrow is uncertain. We may look ahead at a full year’s block of time, but we really have no guarantee that we will experience any of it.

Obviously, time is one of our most precious possessions. We can waste it. We can worry over it. We can spend it on ourselves. Or, as good stewards, we can invest it in the Kingdom of God.

The New Year is full of time. As the seconds tick away, will you be tossing time out the window, or will you make every minute count? (Pulpit Helps, Vol. 14, # 2)

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