12 Things To Do in 2017
Here we stand in a brand new year. Of course, from a practical standpoint, today is just another day in our lives. However, from a calendar point of view, we are in the first hours of the year 2017. We have said goodbye to another year. We have closed the door. We have started a new chapter.
As we begin this new year, I would like to present a list of twelve things we should all strive to do in 2017.
- Attend all the Services. As a local congregation, we meet four hours a week. We meet Sunday morning for Bible classes followed by worship services. We meet Sunday afternoons for worship services. We also have Bible classes on Wednesday evening. In the summer time, we have a gospel meeting. In the fall, we have a weekend gospel meeting. Make the determination for you and your family to attend all the worship services and Bible classes, including the gospel meetings. For those with a bit of extra time on their hands, we also have a Tuesday morning class which meets every Tuesday morning at 10:00. This class runs from September to March.
- Invite People to Services. We need to focus our efforts on personal evangelism. It is our charge to teach the lost. While there are different means of personal evangelism, the easiest form is personal invitation. Make the time to invite other people to be your guest at any of the worship services and Bible classes. Invite your friends, your family members, your next door neighbors, your co-workers, the stranger on the street, etc. People will often feel more welcomed if they have received a personal invitation.
- Offer to Study with the Lost. While inviting others to be your guest at services is a great start, be willing to sit down and study with that individual. The person you bring may have questions; they may desire to know more about God’s word. Stand ready to study with your guest or offer to arrange a Bible study between you, your guest, and another member of the congregation.
- Make Time for Daily Bible Study. Bible study is the process whereby you build or increase your faith. Paul told us our faith comes by hearing God’s word (Romans 10:17). It is also by hearing God’s word our faith continues to grow and be strengthened. Make the time to open your Bible and study God’s holy word every single day.
- Spend Time Daily in Prayer. Prayer is how we let our requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6). Through prayer we praise God. Through prayer we thank God for the wonderful things He has done for us. Make the time every day to pray to the heavenly Father. As the apostle Paul wrote, “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
- Keep Watch and Encourage the Young. Without a doubt, the young in the faith need our watchful guidance and support. We must always stand ready to assist the new convert. Let us offer to study with them. Let us be willing to answer their questions, to show them what the word of God teaches. Let us also stand ready to be a pillar of support for brethren who may be weak.
“Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed” (Hebrews 12:12-13).
- Volunteer to Teach a Class. This congregation needs you to volunteer to teach a Bible class. We have several young people in this congregation. These young people need Bible class teachers who are faithful and loyal to the Lord. If you would be interested in becoming a teacher, please see me, John Duvall.
- Look for Opportunities to Be Hospitable. Jesus, on a number of occasions, helped other people, showing care and compassion. Do not wait for someone to knock on your door looking for help. Look for those opportunities to do good towards others. Be willing to help those who are in need.
- Get to Know Brethren Better. Earlier in our list, we saw the importance of attending all the Bible classes and worship services. It is also important you get to know your brethren outside of the worship services and Bible classes. I understand the work of the local church is not to provide social activities for the members. However, when members get together for social events, make the time to be a part of those events. Spend time with your brethren, getting to know them and understand them.
- Be a Shining Light. Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). To let our light shine, we must be living according to God’s word. Whether we are at home, at work, or at play, our light is to always shine. We should let the life of Jesus be manifested in our lives (cf. 2 Corinthians 4:10).
- Let Your Home Be Led by God. God is the designer of homes. He has put the husband and wife within their respective roles. God has established the proper love within the family. He has taught the parents how to bring up their children. God has given us all we need to have godly families. Let your family be led by His instructions today.
- Ask, “What Can I Do?” Be certain to look for opportunities to serve the Lord. Be proactive in studying your Bible, in worshiping the Lord, in praising His name, in working with the local congregation, in bringing the lost to Christ, etc. Remember to stand ready to say no to temptation and yes to serving God. Seek to do the will of the Lord, always asking the question, “What can I do to better serve my Lord and Savior?”