10 questions for a new year (Don Whitney): The beginning of a new year is an ideal time to stop, look up, and get our bearings. A great time for us to “Consider our ways.” To that end, here are some questions to ask prayerfully in the presence of God. Read more at Desiring God.
Learning to say “Amen” (Becky Pliego): This year, like none before, I learned how to say a robust “Amen!” to all the Providences of God in my life and the life of my family. It was not easy, we were tested in many hard ways, but learning to say “Amen and Amen” each day caused me to turn my eyes to the Lord and submit to His perfect will for us. And do you know what helped me most to say “Amen” to the circumstances that were crushing and that I didn’t understand? Being in the Word and practicing saying “Amen!” to what the Scriptures say. Read more at Becky Pliego.
True friends confront sin (Adriel Sanchez): If you want to grow in grace, surround yourself with godly friends. These are the people who aren’t afraid to wound you every now and then so that you get your act together. Woe to you when your friends only have kisses for you, those aren’t your buddies. Blessed are you when like king David in 2 Samuel 12, you have a Nathan in your squad. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad! Read more at Core Christianity.
What is key to spiritual growth in a new year? (Kevin Carson): On your spiritual growth path this year, make this question a part of your daily self-reflection: “What is the right and best next thing as I pursue the one thing … Christlikeness?” Read more at KevinCarson.com.
Say what no one else will: The men we need as the world drowns (Greg Morse): Amidst the swirling tides of truth and heresy, heaven and hell, God and Satan, this world and the next, many — it must be lamented — do not rise above the shallowness of sports, sex, and careers. They are as spiritually deaf, mute, and useless as the idols they worship (Psalm 115:8). Their story is Pinocchio in reverse: devolving from a real boy to a wooden puppet. Their name might as well be Ichabod, because the glory has departed (1 Samuel 4:21). Read more at Desiring God.
CHURCH / EVANGELISM
9 markers of churches who strongly influence their community with the gospel (Chuck Lawless): Not every church makes much difference in its community. Some churches do, though, and I want to learn from them. Here are some of the characteristics I’ve seen in these churches. Read more at ChuckLawless.com.
My soul faints for you (Jon Bloom): “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.” If that is true, then prayer, like everything else we do (1 Corinthians 10:31), is first and foremost a pursuit of our satisfaction in God. Unlike everything else we do, though, prayer is an especially vital and precious means God has given us to grow our joy in him. Read more at Desiring God.
10 steps to becoming a better leader in 2020 (Chuck Lawless): Some helpful practical wisdom to becoming a better leader this year. Read more at ThomRainer.com.
To serve God in heaven will be a great reward (Randy Alcorn): We’re told that those coming out of the Great Tribulation will be specially rewarded by being given a place “before the throne of God,” where they will “serve him day and night” (Revelation 7:14-15). Notice that the Master rewards His faithful servants not by taking away responsibilities but by giving them greater ones. Service is a reward, not a punishment. This idea is foreign to people who dislike their work and only put up with it until retirement. We think that faithful work should be rewarded by a vacation for the rest of our lives. But God offers us something very different: more work, more responsibilities, increased opportunities, along with greater abilities, resources, wisdom, and empowerment. Read more at Eternal Perspective Ministries.