Quick Note – Hebrews 12:5-6 – The Discipline of the Lord

Hebrews 12:5-6 – “And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? ‘My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by Him.  For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and chastises every son whom He receives.’”

Since I am not a parent, I wouldn’t have the experience to know if this is true or not, but I have heard that when your children become teenagers that is when the problems amplify.  They stop looking at you as infallible role models and begin to question every piece of advice you give them.  When you speak to them about an important issue, they just look at their smart phone screens and talk to their friends or surf the net, not hearing a word you said.  And when they do wrong and you discipline them, they either lash out in anger, tired of hearing “this lecture for the thousandth time,” or just wave it off allowing your advice to go in through one ear and out the other.  If I were to be honest with myself, I would have to admit that I am guilty of doing this too.  Thankfully, as they, and I, grow older, we become wiser and learn to heed good advice and discipline.  As parents or obedient kids who do obey their parents, it may be easy to condemn these immature kids as foolish and stubborn; but before we go pointing fingers, maybe we should spend some time examining our hearts to see whether we are also acting in this same manner when it comes to the Lord’s discipline in our lives.

When we are disciplined by God, how do we respond?  Do we wisely take heed of what He says and repent, turning from our sins towards Him?  Or do we like immature spiritual teenagers ignore what He says and continue on our wayward path, like the prodigal son in Luke 15.  Our passage today gives us warning to heed the discipline and Word of the Lord.  It says, “…Do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by Him.”  We should never take lightly God’s discipline in our lives.  When He speaks to correct, we must listen and obey, for choosing to ignore His Word is a recipe for trouble.  More than that, we should not be weary, or tired of it, when He corrects us multiple times.  I know it can be hard to hear the same lecture over and over again, but when we continue to do wrong, God’s choice to continue to correct us is not His way to badger and annoy us, but His grace and mercy working to try to prevent us from falling any further.  In actuality, we should be grateful that He doesn’t just give up on us.  Would it not be worse to be considered a failure that should be abandoned?

When the Lord disciplines us, He is showing His love for us.  Like a parent who cares for his/her child and wants them to avoid unnecessary problems in life, when our Lord God chastises us, He is trying to guide us in the right direction.  If He didn’t love us, He would just allow us to go our own way.  That is probably why we so often see the wicked never get corrected but the righteous corrected for making a smaller mistake.  So next time when the Lord disciplines us, let us heed His correction rather than acting like spiritual teenagers.  Let us be spiritually mature, heeding the discipline of the Lord.


Quick Note – Exodus 2:23-25 – God Knows

Exodus 2:23-25 – “23 During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. 24 And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 God saw the people of Israel—and God knew.”

“YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M GOING THROUGH!” – This is one of the most common phrases you will hear from a person who is experiencing some type of emotional, physical, mental, or spiritual struggle.  It can come from a teenager who is experiencing his or her first heartbreak or from a patient who has just been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.  No matter how hard you try to bring them comfort, you cannot; because at that very moment, they feel like they are experiencing a trial that no one in the world has ever dealt with.  They feel completely isolated with no one who can understand or know what they are going through.  They won’t listen to your words; they won’t take your advice; they won’t even ask for your help; instead they will try to deal with the struggle on their own.  They only begin to open up when you prove to them that you know and understand what they have gone through usually through personal experience.  That is why, when people are struggling, the best help they can get usually comes from a group of people who have also had the same experience.  Why do you think AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) has done so well?  It is a group of individuals who have the same struggle with alcohol supporting each other as they overcome this seemingly insurmountable problem.  When somebody knows and understands what you are going through, it is easier to bear the load.

In our passage today, we are told about the struggle of the Israelites, who were enslaved to the Egyptians.  They had come to Egypt for relief during the famine in the time of Joseph and had over time become slaves to Pharaoh and his people.  They were used to make bricks, to build store cities, and to work the fields.  And because, they only grew in multitude after this hard labor, Pharaoh enacted a decree that required all Hebrew males to be thrown into the Nile after birth to curb the population.  They were in trouble, and they cried out to God.  It was then that God heard their groaning, remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, knew their trouble, and decided to work.  Although it seemed like they were alone and that God was not hearing their prayers, God saw the trouble that the Israelites were experiencing and knew.  That beautiful word is what we are focusing on in our devotional today.  God knew.  He saw their trouble and knew.  He then began to work a way to deliver them through the hand of Moses.  Just as with the Israelites, God knows all that we are going through.  Whatever the trouble or trial may be, whatever the situation, God knows who we are and what we are dealing with.  He grasps and understands and will help us through it.  We may think that He would have no clue, but He does.  Jesus Christ experienced life in our human flesh when He came to earth to die for our sins, and during that time, He experienced the same struggles and temptations that we go through every day of our lives.

So whatever thing you are struggling with today – whether it is bad news from the doctor, a job loss, a broken heart, a defeating temptation – know that God sees and knows.  You are not alone in your struggle with no one to understand and help, for God is there.  His ears are open to your prayers and pleas, and He will work to bring you comfort and help.  Trust our God to pull you through.  Remember that He knows.

Quick Note – 1 Corinthians 13:5 – Selective Memory

1 Corinthians 13:4-5 – “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.  It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful….”

Our memories are a funny thing.  We seem to remember certain things that seem of little consequence to others but have no recollection of other things that have happened which may seem more important.  This seems to happen a lot in my family (maybe it’s genetic).  For example, my mom will forget a Hallmark movie that we watched just a week ago, but she can remember the exact details of her secret recipe for chocolate cake.  I, on the other hand, can remember the exact page number in my anatomy text book from high school that contained a map of the human body (pg. 16 by the way) but can’t seem to remember that my parents told me to turn off the oven in two hours.  Why is that?  Why can I remember certain things and not others?  I think we can attribute this to something called selective memory.  We choose the things we value and remember and choose the things that we feel are inconsequential and forget.  We say that our memories can shape how we view our world, but I think, it can go the other way as well – how we view things can also shape what memories we value and maintain.  But before I become way too philosophical, let’s get to the point of this quick note.

One thing that almost always happens when we argue with someone we love and care about is that we bring up all the past mistakes they have made.  We can rehash something hurtful done to us years ago but can’t seem to remember the blessing they were to us just yesterday.  We will then throw all those things in their face and make them feel awful for hurting us.  In 1 Corinthians 13:5, we are told that love is not resentful; or in other words, given by the side notes in the ESV version, love “does not count up wrongdoing.”  That means that when we love someone, we must be willing to forgive them and no longer hold it against them.  We must learn to forgive.  I’m not saying that it is easy, because it certainly is not.  It is not easy to forgive a person who has done you wrong.  But our Lord Jesus Christ, our Heavenly Father, forgave us for all the sins that we committed against Him, so how can we not do the same for others?  Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”  Let us learn to forgive.  Let us learn to show our love for others by forgiving them.  We are thirteen days into the new year still.  Let’s let go of the past and forgive those who have wronged us, even if they don’t deserve it.  For when we do, we will be showing them the love of God that is now in us.

Quick Note – Genesis 19:15-16a – Don’t Wait

Genesis 19:15-16a – “15 As morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city.” 16 But he lingered….”

I have an awful habit of procrastinating whenever I need to get something done.  I will wait until the last minute before getting to work on a report or a presentation or something I just don’t want to do.  I then end up staying up the night before, trying to put it all together.  This bad habit makes my life unnecessarily but highly stressful.  So it is definitely a habit I have been trying to kick.  The only consolation that I have is that most people I know also have this bad habit, so at least if I’m stressed, everyone else is stressed with me.

The one thing that we should never procrastinate on though is our relationship with Christ.  Too many people try to wait until the last minute to commit their lives to Christ.  They wait until their dying breath before submitting and giving their lives to Him.  Honestly, they are playing a dangerous game of chicken, seeing if they can beat the clock to salvation.  In our passage today, we read about a person in the Bible who also played a game of chicken with God, and his name was Lot.  Lot lived in the city of Sodom, which was so wicked that God had decided to destroy it.  God couldn’t even find ten righteous people to the spare the city from destruction.  Imagine if we count Lot, his wife, and his two daughters as righteous, we would only need to find six more, but none could be found.  Because of this, the two angels sent to investigate the city warned Lot in vs. 15 that they needed to leave.  They needed to run from destruction before it was too late.  But instead of getting up and leaving, Lot lingered.  Lot waited and “dilly-dallyed” and procrastinated.  The only reason he wasn’t swept away was because at the end of vs. 16, it says that the angels seized him and brought him out.  Only God’s mercy spared them in the end.  Procrastination almost killed Lot and his family.

I know this is bad manners, but I will not include myself in this group today, because I didn’t procrastinate on this matter.  But for those who have yet to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, I give you this warning – DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO GIVE YOUR HEARTS TO GOD; YOU MAY MISS YOUR CHANCE IF YOU WAIT TOO LONG.  You never know when your life may be taken from you.  Although this is depressing, people die from random accidents, unexpected disease diagnoses, or other unusual reasons every day.  Who knows when that time will come for you?  So don’t wait.  Don’t linger.  Today is the day of salvation.  Accept Him as your Lord and Savior today.  You don’t need to know everything.  You don’t need to understand every doctrine.  All you need is to believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins and to accept His free gift of salvation.  Don’t let anything keep you lingering.   Start this new year of right.  Come to Him today.

New Year’s Eve Sermon

Unlike other holidays, New Year’s is basically celebrated around the world.  Almost every nation nowadays follows the Gregorian calendar, marking December 31st as the last day of the year and January 1st as New Year’s Day.  Tonight, people the world over will be ringing in the New Year with parties, fireworks, and other various traditions based on their culture or upbringing.  Here are a few examples of interesting traditions that occur in other parts of the world:

  • In Spain, they try to stuff 12 grapes into their mouths for good luck.
  • In certain parts of South America, they were specific colors of underwear to bring about a certain fate in the new year (i.e. red underwear for love).
  • In Japan, they ring all their bells 108 times for luck.
  • In Peru, they celebrate what is called the Takanakuy Festival where people will fist fight to settle their differences and start the year off brand new.
  • In Bolivia, they bake coins into their sweets.
  • In Denmark, some people jump off the top of chairs to leap into the new year.
  • In Estonia, people eat seven times on New Year’s Day to signify abundance.

(Pegg, David. 25 Strangest New Year’s Traditions From Around The World.  Nov. 21, 2017. https://list25.com/25-strangest-new-years-traditions-from-around-the-world/5/)

These are only a few of the stranger traditions that exist, but each part of the world seems to have its own unique ways to ring in the New Year.  I’m sure people in other parts of the world also think that our American traditions of watching a ball drop from Times Square, kissing a random stranger at the stroke of midnight, and mumble singing the song Auld lang syne that no one really knows the words to (Who even knows that means?) are also weird.  But I digress.  Simply put, every person celebrates the New Year in their own way with their own traditions.

For my family, we bring in the New Year by gathering together and giving thanks to God for the opportunity to start fresh.  Then before we head off to bed (since midnight is 2 hours past my dad’s bedtime already), we take some time to pray and read one specific passage of Scripture – Psalm 1.  I’m actually not certain why my dad decided on this passage in the recent years, but it is the one that we go to every year.  As I was studying it this past week though, I realized that it was the perfect psalm to start out a new year with, because it forces us to consider and to decide which spiritual direction we will be going towards in the New Year.  We have to decide whether we will walk towards God and righteousness or Satan and wickedness.  We have to make a commitment, or in a more familiar New Year’s term, a resolution, to improve our spiritual walk with God.  As we look into this passage deeper, I want to seriously encourage you to make these three commitments, which will help you become the blessed righteous man/woman described in Psalm 1.

Psalm 1

1Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor standeth in the way of sinners, Nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

2But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

3And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringether forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

4The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

5Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

6For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous:  but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Resolution #1:  I resolve to remove/avoid wickedness and sin in my life.

If we want to draw near to God in our lives this year, we must first remove the sin in our lives that is breaking our fellowship with God.  In Isaiah 59:1-2, we are told how God did not hear the prayers of his people Israel because of their sin separating them from Him (“Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.”)  Throughout the Old Testament, we see pictures of how God would not permit uncleanness and sin in His presence, warning the people of Israel with many laws to remove the uncleanness from His sight.  For example, when the Israelites were called to worship God during the Passover, those who were unclean due to being in the presence of a dead body were not allowed to celebrate. When a priest was to enter the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle/Temple, he needed to offer up a sin offering to cover his guilt before entering into the presence of the LORD.  In Deuteronomy 23:14, the people of Israel were told to make sure that their camp was holy, so that God would not see anything indecent in the camp and turn away from them.  David knew full well how sin can separate from God and spoke about it in the Psalms, such as in Psalm 66:18 (“If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear…”) or Psalm 51, where he describes the agony and separation he felt from God when he had the unconfessed sins of adultery with Bathsheba and murder of her husband Uriah.  Sin separates us from God, and if we want to have a closer walk with Him this year, we need to resolve to remove sin and wickedness from our lives.

Psalm 1:1 says, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor standeth in the way of sinners, Nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”  Working from the last phrase to the first, since the last is the most drastic, here we are told that the blessed man does not sit in the seat of the scornful.  He refuses to associate with those who scorn the Word of God.  He wants nothing to do with them, for he knows that he should flee from fools that refuse to fear God.  This is something that even we as Christians usually do.  We can convince ourselves to stay away from the worse of the worse, but see how much further the blessed man goes.  He not only stays away from those who scorn God but also from those who sin against Him.  He does not want to follow the path that they walk in though they may just be playing with the fires of temptation.  He does not want to stand in their paths that may lead to temporal prizes of fame, fortune, and power but in the end lead to destruction.  Though standing in the way of sinners may not be as bad as sitting with the scornful, the blessed man refuses to be in their presence, for he knows that a little leaven can leaven the whole lump.  As Christians entering the New Year, we may be able to convince ourselves to forsake our sin and avoid sinful influences, but can we convince ourselves to do the last thing that the blessed man does – “walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly.”  The blessed man does not even want their counsel.  He wants nothing to do with the ways of the world, their guidance, their leading, or their advice.  He refuses to allow the wisdom of this world to guide him towards his goal.  He does not even want a piece of their influence in his life.

Sin has a way of distracting us from the common goal we have as Christians to become more and more like Jesus Christ; therefore, if we want to have a more intimate relationship with God this year, our first step is to turn away from sin.  For those who are unbelievers, it is by making the choice to repent from your sin of unbelief and give your life over to Him as Lord and Savior.  But for those of us who are Christians, we must confess our sins and repent from them.  1 John 1:9 states that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  As we enter into this New Year, we must begin by confessing the sin we are still carrying in our lives whatever they may be and then forsake them.  Hebrews 12:1-2 tells us that we should “lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely,” and “run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus…”  Stop allowing sin to be a barrier between you and God; instead begin this New Year by committing to remove sin from your life.

Resolution #2:  I resolve to study God’s Word daily and meditate on it both day and night.

When a person is looking for their future spouse, he/she usually begins by meeting someone in some way (i.e. a personal friend’s introduction, a blind date, an online dating app).  After the initial meeting, if there is some type of spark, they will begin to determine if that person is a good fit for them by spending time with them through subsequent dates.  If the interest continues, they will then begin to have phone, text, or Facebook chat conversations more consistently, eventually, talking to each other every day.  The reason they do this is because the only way to get to know a person better is to spend time with them.  The more time you spend, the more you know about them.  In the end, they will know each other’s desires, goals, and dreams.  They will know what that person wants at a specific time and what will annoy them the most.  And if they manage to get married, they will know each other so well that they will be as one like the Bible describes.  This is true of any relationship, whether it’s a romantic relationship, a paternal relationship, or even a friendship.  By spending time with another person, you get to know them better.  And in most cases, you learn to love that person in a deeper, more meaningful way.  So what is to exempt this from applying to your spiritual relationship with God?  If you want to get to know God more, the best way to do it is to spend more time with Him.  So if we desire to have a closer walk with God this New Year, our second resolution should be to know God more by spending time studying His Word daily and meditating on it both day and night.

Verse 2 of our passage states that instead of following the wicked, the blessed righteous man finds that “his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in His law doth he meditate day and night.”  The first thing we need to take notice of is that the blessed righteous man finds his delight in God’s law.  He loves not only knowing God’s law but also obeying it and allowing it to guide and direct His life.  He wants to know and do God’s will.  The passage in the Bible that best describes this attitude is found in Psalm 119, where the Psalmist pours out how much he loves God’s law in almost all 176 verses.  Our desire, our delight, our joy should be found in knowing and obeying our Heavenly Father more and more each day.  The second thing we need to take notice of is that the blessed righteous man meditates on God’s law both day and night.  That means that he spends basically every moment of every day reflecting on God’s Word.  There is no hour in which he forgets about it, but he allows God’s Word to permeate every portion of His life – whether at work or at play, whether waking up or going to bed, whether in the community or in church, God’s Word is present on his mind.   In Joshua 1:8, God tells Joshua that if we wanted his way to be prosperous and full of good success that “this Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.”  Only by constantly reflecting on what God wanted him to do based on His Word could Joshua have the appropriate guidance for conquering the Promised Land; therefore, God told Him to constantly meditate on His Word.  Meditating does not mean that you make a bunch of weird “UMMM” noises.  Meditation is actually the practice of constantly thinking about and considering an idea.  Dr. Charles Stanley actually gave very good pointers about how to meditate in his InTouch daily devotionals for December 27-28, 2017.  He stated that some fundamentals of meditation are a season of time (to set aside a time to commune with God), stillness (to slow down and remove everything else and just focus on Him), seclusion (to take time to be alone with God), silence (to quiet down our hearts to listen to the voice of God), self-control (to admit that there are things that we need to work on in our life as God shapes us to the people He wants us to be), and submission (to humble ourselves before God and obey what He shows us).  (Stanley, Charles. “Basics of Effective Meditation” and “More Essentials of Meditation”.  December 27-28, 2017.  InTouch Ministries.  www.intouch.org)  We need to take the time to meditate on God’s law every day and every night, for only by getting alone with God can we know His laws, His will, and His direction for our lives.

How many of you have actually finished reading your Bible all the way through in your lifetime?  Or how many of you at least spent each day this year reading His Word and praying?  Most of us would have to admit that we haven’t.  We spend more time each day watching TV and reading fictional books, rather than getting to know our Heavenly Father.  I challenge you this upcoming year to do something my dad has been challenging you to do ever since he became a pastor – finish reading your Bible through this year.  You will be surprised how much you will grow as a Christian within a single year.  If you need some more convincing, I want to give you an example from my personal life of someone who took up this challenge and grew in an unbelievable way.  I used to teach some of the high school/college kids from the Thai Outreach Church a few years ago.  I also gave them this same challenge, and honestly almost nobody took me seriously, but two people decided to try it.  One gave up after the first few months being bogged down in the book of Leviticus and Numbers, never finishing.  The other, although she struggled in those sections, and often fell behind the schedule, eventually caught up around June I think and began to do it daily.  The spiritual growth that happened in her life over that year was evident by all around her.  When she came to class and I referenced a specific section of Scripture, she could draw the connections.  She hungered for the Word and for knowing it more.  And eventually, when she went off to college, she found a core Christian group to continue her growth.  Today, I could not be more proud of her.  Just by reading God’s Word every day, meditating on it day and night, she became a stronger and more effective Christian.  I challenge each person today to spend time in God’s Word this year.  Make time for Him both in the morning and night, so that you begin and close your day with God.

Resolution #3:  I resolve to produce spiritual fruit that will bring glory to God.

This last resolution is probably the easiest to accomplish if you follow through with the first two resolutions of removing wickedness in your life and meditating on God’s Word, because this third resolution is the natural product of those first two resolutions.  In Luke 13:6-9, Jesus told a parable about a barren fig tree.

Luke 13:6-9 – “Then he told this parable:  ‘A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any.  So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, “For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any.  Cut it down!  Why should it use up the soil?”  “Sir,” the man replied, “leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it.  If it bears fruit next year, fine!  If not, then cut it down.”’”

This parable was directed at the people of Israel, who were supposed to be an example to the nations of God’s grace, love, and mercy, drawing them to God; but instead, they had strayed into the ways of the world and only brought disgrace to the name of God.  They did not produce the fruit that they were called to produce.  Even after many years of rebuke, they still failed to produce the fruit, and for that reason, they were called to be punished.

A similar warning was given to the disciples by Jesus Christ in John 15, where He says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every  branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit…If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.”  God expects that His disciples should produce fruit in meeting with their salvation.  As Christians, we must produce good fruit.

The blessed righteous man described in Psalm 1:3 is said to produce good fruit at the appropriate times – “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, That bringeth forth his fruit in his season…”  Like a tree planted and founded by the waters, he always brings about fruit when he should.  And if we as Christians implant ourselves into Christ, the Water of life, and abide in Him, following His commandments, then we will also produce fruit (John 5:4-5).  This fruit includes things like the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), the “Add-to’s” (2 Peter 1:5-8), treasures in heaven (things of eternal value spoken of in Matthew 6), and most importantly love (John 13:35).  We as Christians should constantly be producing this fruit in our lives, for it is our witness to the world of what Christ has done for us.  Are we allowing the Holy Spirit to produce His fruit in our lives, or are we still producing the fruits of our flesh?  The fruits we produce reveal to us how we are perceived by the world, the condition of our hearts, and our eternal future, so let us resolve to produce good fruit.


The rest of Psalm 1 tells us the results of each path.  It describes how the wicked will be like chaff, unfounded and ready to be driven away by the wind, whichever direction it goes.  It is temporary and unfruitful, just like the chaff of wheat, good for nothing.  Vs. 5 tells us that the wicked will not stand in the judgment or the congregation of the righteous, which the book of Revelation continuously reaffirms, speaking of the second judgment that will come to the wicked and unrighteous.  Finally, the psalm ends by telling us that the wicked will perish.  Though they seem to succeed on this earth, getting whatever they desire, though it seems like they will never get their due, they will eventually perish.  On the other hand, the righteous are given a different future.  Their future is described with strength, endurance, fruitfulness, and prosperity like a tree planted by the rivers of water.  Though persecution and trouble may reign for them on this earth, the Lord will eventually bring about their deliverance.  I have been reading a lot of the Minor Prophets lately, and that’s what I seem to see all the time – punishment then deliverance.  Most importantly, the way of the righteous is known by God.  He is constantly watching over and caring for His children.  What gift can be greater than that?  Knowing this, how can we not desire to walk in the righteous path this upcoming year?  I challenge everyone today to make the commitment – to resolve – to draw closer to our Lord God and Heavenly Father this year.  Do so today by committing to:

  1. Remove sin and wickedness from your hearts.
  2. Study God’s Word every day and meditate on it day and night.
  3. Produce fruit that will bring God honor and glory.

May God give you a fruitful and blessed new year in 2018.  Happy New Year!