New Hope Headlines
Updated: Sept. 22, 2013
6 New Sermon Outlines Now Available on the Downloads Page!
- Taking Out The Garbage part 2
- Taking Out The Garbage
- Let's Get Specific
- How God Expects Us to Build
- Faith That Brings Walls Down
- All Dressed Up and Someplace to go
From the Desk of the Pastor
Jan. 25, 2013
Making the Most Out of Your Life
Ephesians 5:15-17 (ESV):
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
As we kick off a new year with fresh possibilities, I want to challenge you to seriously take an inventory of your life. Are there any areas where you are dissatisfied? Did you feel like 2013 was a wasted year? Perhaps there was so much you wanted to accomplish, but you felt like you were spinning your wheels? I want to help you make 2014 the most productive and spiritually healthy year of your life.
In doing research, I found that 4 out of 5 believers said that having a deep, personal commitment to the Christian faith is a top priority for their future. On the other hand, when you ask believers to identify the single most important thing they hope to accomplish in life without suggesting any particular possibilities, only a small minority (20 percent) mentions anything directly related to spiritual outcomes. In other words, believers say their faith matters, but few are investing much energy in the pursuit of spiritual growth.1
So, let me ask you-do you have a plan for your spiritual growth? Are you doing what Paul commanded us in Ephesians 5:16, “making the most of every opportunity and redeeming the time?” I can hear you now arguing with me. “Bryan, you have no idea how little time I have. I cannot even get what I need to get done accomplished! I do not have time to add something else on my list!”
Let me give you some encouragement. With a little planning, you can make some tremendous strides in your spiritual growth this year. If I could sit across from you right now and ask you these two questions: 1)”What is the one area in your personal spiritual life you would like to improve?” 2) “What is the one relationship in your life that needs the most attention?” how would you respond?
The answers to those two questions will determine the plan you implement for this year. What if your answer to question number one was prayer? Then, you need to start by getting an updated (meaning recent) book on the principles of Christian prayer. If your answer to question number two is your marriage, then you start by securing a Christian Bible study on strengthening marriage you can do with your spouse.
The same principles apply no matter what the answers are to the two questions. You might be asking yourself, “How do I know which book or Bible study I need to get?” If you walk into a Christian bookstore today, no doubt you will find dozens of books/Bible studies related to every topic imaginable.
Begin by going to your pastor and ask him/her what books/Bible studies they would recommend to get you started. If you do not have a pastor or are not attending church, please contact me and I will be overjoyed to point you in the right direction.
The point is, take one area of need and commit to strengthening it under God’s power and guidance this year. Focus on one relationship need and seek to strengthen it through the power of God’s Holy Spirit. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
Do not let 2014 slip away and be discouraged and defeated because you did not make the progress you desired. You can do it, starting today! Seek your pastor’s help or contact me. Make the most out of the opportunities God gives you. Here is to your success!
Serving Christ, Loving Others, & Growing Together,