TODAY'S WORD FOR Monday, December 31, 2018:
HAPPY NEW YEARS EVE
The end of a year; the last day of a calendar year.
Be strong and of good courage, do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
As we reflect back on the past year, we are reminded that many have gone through life changing events through no fault of their own. We have received hundreds of emails from friends who read our devotionals living in third world countries. Many tell us about being persecuted because of their faith. We salute all of those who stand up for the Lord when told to renounce their faith or be persecuted.
Some of these dear people have had their homes burned to the ground. Others have had a family member martyred because of his or her faith. Many have had their churches demolished by fire or bombs. Others have lost everything due to natural disasters as in hurricanes, fires and floods. All of us need to pray for these dear people who have suffered so much mainly because they have stood strong in their love for our Lord.
Here in America it has been a year of suffering as well because of numerous natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, fires and earthquakes that have devasted people’s lives. But the most serious devastation is the result of a government at the federal, state and local levels that is rejecting the Biblical principles that our country was founded on. The results are broken homes, abortions, gay marriages, crime, school shootings, drug addiction, ophoid deaths, and so much more.
Yes, 2018 has been a very difficult year for many people, both for believers in Jesus and for non-believers.
Now let us look ahead to 2019. Are there some changes that need to be made in your life? Have you set any goals for this New Year? If you have not we suggest that you stop whatever you are doing right now and take a piece of paper and pencil and record your goals so you have something to look at every day as a reminder of your personal commitments.
May we suggest several important goals for you to consider. First, have a daily relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. This should include reading a portion of the scriptures, meditating on what you read so you will understand what God may be saying to you through the portion of scripture you read, and then pray. Prayer is the way you communicate with God. You can’t have a relationship without communication. When you pray, mention every need and every care to Him. He will answer if you put your trust in Him. Seek His guidance and He will lead you. Make David’s prayer in Psalm 139:23-24 your prayer.
Secondly, you need to set as one of your goals high standards that you will live by in 2019. Claim daily the scripture verse we have written above and as God honored Joshua for his faith, He will honor you in the same manner. Living a God-fearing life guided by God’s standards will give you a remarkable 2019 no matter what happens in the world around you.
Thirdly, we suggest that you set firm goals as to your relationships with your family. If you are struggling with issues now, sit down and work them out. Make sure you do it prayerfully. Pray personally first and then with your family and then discuss the issues. If you put God in charge the issues will soon dissolve. God must come first in your life, in your family and with those you associate with daily.
And finally, we strongly suggest that you set a goal to reach out to a hurting world all around you. As a believer, God requires this plus when you help someone in need your attitude changes and the person you help also has an attitude change. Helping someone in need gives you also an open door to share the good news of the gospel with them and that is what God wants from us --- to be His witnesses while on this earth.
We wish you a Christ centered New Year. Be Blessed!!
Our memory verse for this week is found in II Corinthians 5:17.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Thank You for all You have done for me and my family this past year. Search my heart and convict me of my sins and lead me on the right path. Help me to set Godly goals that will honor and glorify Your Holy name. Give me a new desire to share Your love by reaching out to hurting and hungry people in a new way in 2019.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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