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Look back to ready for the new year
Pastor's corner
pastor corner

It seems that just a few days ago it was Jan. 1, 2017. As the year draws to a close, it is a good time to reflect on what has gone on in the year.

Most will do this about school, jobs, finances, etc., and it is good to do those things. Some have lost friends and loved ones in the course of the year, others have had additions to their families. The physical things seem important, and they are. But let us not forget to look at our spiritual well-being and what has happened to it over the course of a year.

Many are searching for larger size clothes to compensate for the bodying growing in the past year. What about our souls? Peter wrote that we need to grow spiritually. "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen" (2 Peter 3:18).

We realize that our physical bodies grew because of the food we enjoyed during the year. How much spiritual food was "digested?" Hopefully a good portion of "the word" was taken in and helped us grow as children of God. Bible study should be on one’s spiritual menu every day. The word will help one to grow and prosper spiritually.

If we have grown as Christians, then we should be able to tell a difference in ourselves over past years. It may be that we know more verses of scripture than we did before, or perhaps we now have a handle on more subjects that are discussed in the Bible. Hopefully, we have developed a greater love and concern for lost souls round about us. Just think if everyone would work to grow spiritually, what a wonderful place life would be.

Strength is something that has to be acquired – it does not just happen. The same is true with spiritual strength. The Lord needs those who are strong and who are willing to stand firm on his word, not willing to compromise with the world or with those in the church who would depart from the truth.

"Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong" (I Cor. 16:13). Spiritual strength helps one to have a better life.

God knows whether or not we have increased or decreased spiritually over the past year. We have God’s word to show us how we ought to be and where we need to improve. Everyone has room for improvement, but did we diligently work to improve this year?

The Hebrew writer told of a people who had failed to grow properly: "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat" (Heb. 5:12).

Yes, the year is just about over. As we look back, we may not be as happy with our growth spiritually as we would like. If that is the case then we need to get ready for the New Year, and head into it with the determination and desire to grow stronger as a Christian in the coming year.

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