The New Year: 2

 

‘With God all things are possible.’ Matthew 19:26 NIV

Jon Gordon offers practical New Year’s resolutions:

(1) Stay positive. You can listen to the cynics and believe success is impossible, or believe ‘with God all things are possible.’

(2) Each day when you awake complete this statement: ‘My purpose is ____________.’

(3) Take a morning walk of gratitude. It creates a fertile mind for success. You can’t be stressed and thankful at the same time and when you combine gratitude with physical exercise you give yourself a double-boost of positive energy and natural anti-depressants.

(4) Instead of being disappointed about where you are, think optimistically about where you’re going.

(5) Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a college-kid with a maxed-out credit card!

(6) Believe that everything happens for a reason, and good things come from challenging experiences. (7) Don’t waste energy on gossip, past issues, negative thoughts and things you can’t control. Invest in the positive, present moment. (8) Mentor someone and be mentored by someone. (9) Live with the 3 E’s: Energy. Enthusiasm. Empathy. (10) Remember there’s no substitute for hard work. (11) Zoom-Focus: Ask yourself, ‘What are the three most important things I need to do today?’ (12) Implement the ‘No Complaining’ rule. Complaining is like vomiting; afterwards you feel better but people around you feel sick! (13) Read more books than you did last year. (14) Get more rest. You can’t replace sleep with a double latte! (15) Before bed complete these statements: ‘I’m thankful for ____________; ‘Today I accomplished ____________.’ (16) Think of your mind like a garden. If you weed the negative and feed the positive for one day it doesn’t do much, but when you do it every day you create a magnificent garden.

SoulFood: 1 Th 1–3, Mt 3:1–10, Ps 116, Ecc 12:13–14

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2018

Today’s Readings

1 Thessalonians 1–3

1:1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,

To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

Grace to you and peace.

We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

2:1 For you yourselves know, brothers, that our coming to you was not in vain. But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict. For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.

For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. 10 You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers. 11 For you know how, like a father with his children, 12 we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.

13 And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers. 14 For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews, 15 who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind 16 by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved—so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them at last!

17 But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, 18 because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us. 19 For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? 20 For you are our glory and joy.

3:1 Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we were willing to be left behind at Athens alone, and we sent Timothy, our brother and God's coworker in the gospel of Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith, that no one be moved by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are destined for this. For when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction, just as it has come to pass, and just as you know. For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain.

But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love and reported that you always remember us kindly and long to see us, as we long to see you—for this reason, brothers, in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith. For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord. For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God, 10 as we pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith?

11 Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, 12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 13 so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

Matthew 3:1–10

3:1 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said,

  “The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
  ‘Prepare the way of the Lord;
    make his paths straight.’”

Now John wore a garment of camel's hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 10 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Psalm 116

116:1   I love the LORD, because he has heard
    my voice and my pleas for mercy.
  Because he inclined his ear to me,
    therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
  The snares of death encompassed me;
    the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
    I suffered distress and anguish.
  Then I called on the name of the LORD:
    “O LORD, I pray, deliver my soul!”
  Gracious is the LORD, and righteous;
    our God is merciful.
  The LORD preserves the simple;
    when I was brought low, he saved me.
  Return, O my soul, to your rest;
    for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.
  For you have delivered my soul from death,
    my eyes from tears,
    my feet from stumbling;
  I will walk before the LORD
    in the land of the living.
10   I believed, even when I spoke:
    “I am greatly afflicted”;
11   I said in my alarm,
    “All mankind are liars.”
12   What shall I render to the LORD
    for all his benefits to me?
13   I will lift up the cup of salvation
    and call on the name of the LORD,
14   I will pay my vows to the LORD
    in the presence of all his people.
15   Precious in the sight of the LORD
    is the death of his saints.
16   O LORD, I am your servant;
    I am your servant, the son of your maidservant.
    You have loosed my bonds.
17   I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving
    and call on the name of the LORD.
18   I will pay my vows to the LORD
    in the presence of all his people,
19   in the courts of the house of the LORD,
    in your midst, O Jerusalem.
  Praise the LORD!

Ecclesiastes 12:13–14

13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.

Tue 02 January, 2018


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