Going for Godliness #SundaySuggestion

This year begins on a Sunday so I am kicking off the year with a Sunday Suggestion.

One of the most popular posts of last year was – Go for a Goal – which was another Sunday Suggestion. I could launch 2023 with a similar theme, but I am sure you will hear enough about New Years’ Resolutions in the coming days. Instead, let me ask you – how ought you to live your life as a Christian in 2023?

Peter, in his second letter, talks of the end of all things. He says this:

Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives

2 Peter 3:11 NIV

Peter instructs that as all things will end one day, we ought to live our lives in holy and godly ways.

These words are in reference to the end of the world or the last days, and we could spend much time discussing if we are indeed in the last of the latter times. We certainly see many signs that Jesus warned us of, and yet every generation believed itself to be the final one. Two things are for sure; 1) we are closer to the end than we were yesterday, and 2) life is short and last days or not, each of us could find ourselves standing before the Lord a lot sooner than we ever thought possible.

Given this, it is all the more vital that you and I live holy and godly lives. My suggestion for you today, and for this entire year, is to go for godliness.

What is godliness, and how do we go for it?

What is #godliness? How can we be #holy? #Bible #Jesus #Christianity

Godliness and holiness are close cousins. To be holy is to be set apart for a specific purpose – namely, to serve God. Godliness is to be like God in character, and to think and act in accordance with His will.

This is not easy for us to achieve, and impossible in our own strength. Only through constant study of God’s Word and fellowship with Him and His Spirit can we ever hope to act in a godly manner. Our born-again heart might be new, but we wrestle with our sinful nature and conquer it through prayer and the renewing of our minds.

Going for godliness is to put God first in your life, and to prioritise Christian practices over the things of this temporary world. Watching TV  is not wrong, nor is any of your hobbies, but if they replace your fellowship with Christ, then you will never be able to live as you ought.

It is not something you can do overnight, and in fact, will take effort each and every day of 2023. You do not go it alone, as you have the continual comfort of the Holy Spirit, and the fellowship of believers who travel  with you.

Decide today to made 2023 the most godly year of your life to date. Put God first, and live in accordance with the Scriptures and in line with the Gospel. Pray for me as I do the same, and let us each look forward to the coming of our Lord – sooner or later.

God bless you this year!

Pray for People #SundaySuggestion

One of the best things about a church fellowship is the variety of the members. In virtually no other setting do you find people of such varying age or experience. Think about it, most of your friends are likely a similar age to you, or in the same season of life. In church though, you could just as easily be sat next to a young family or an octogenarian.

No matter what the age profile of your church, today I am suggesting you identify an individual or family and set about praying for them consistently throughout this week. You might choose someone you know well, or you may decide to select a family you have spent little time with. Either way, make them your prayer mission for the week.

People are generally very appreciative of prayer. I know I need a lot of prayer coverage, and so if someone offered to set about praying for me for a week, I’d be very glad of it.

People appreciate #prayer – I know I do! #Pray for someone this #Sunday #Bible #Jesus #Church

What would be even better though is to let them know. Don’t just pray for them at a distance, tell them that this is what you are doing. You can even ask them what is happening that week that you could specifically pray for. Use your phone or a notebook to write things down if your memory is not all that reliable.

You can pray for the spiritual health of the family, that God would bless their working lives, that the Lord would protect them from harm this week, and that the Holy Spirit would reveal God’s love to them in a new or deeper way. Pray for their health. Pray for their home. Pray for their time with God to be productive and fruitful.

Do not merely ask for things though, remember to thank God for them and for their place in your fellowship.

Listen to what God is telling you too, as He may have a word of encouragement for them.

If you really feel led to, you could keep a prayer journal over the course of the week and present it back to them the following Sunday. What a blessing that would be!

I hope that this exercise will not just be a blessing to them, but it will encourage and uplift you also. What a privilege it is to stand alongside someone and invite the Lord into their lives.

#Pray without ceasing – #Bible #Jesus #Prayer #Christianity

Have a great day and a productive week in prayer!

Take Note and Review – Sunday Suggestion

This Sunday, when you go to church, don’t just keep the seat warm but try to fully engage with your pastor’s message. It took them time to prepare and study, so rather than just listen to what they say, make some decent notes which you can review throughout this week.

Each day, or even more often than that, pull out your notes and go over them. Remind yourself what the key points were, and re-read the Bible passages.

Turn the notes into some actions which you can do. What steps will you take to act on what you’ve heard? How can you put this particular message into practice in your life?

Even better, pair up with someone from church and review the notes together. See what actions you can take together and encourage each other as you do.

James says:

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.

James 1:22 (NLT)

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. #Bible #Jesus #Christianity

Finally, when you see your pastor next week, tell them what you have done with the message they taught. It will truly bless and encourage them to hear that you have taken their words and acted on them. Tell them what you enjoyed and how it has challenged you to live more fully for Christ.

How many Christians sit and listen to every word their pastor has said, yet has forgotten every one by the time they reach the parking lot/car park? Don’t let that be you!

Spiritual growth is not automatic, and takes effort on our part. Engage with the Bible, learn from your pastor, and let the Holy Spirit be your guide.

Enjoy your weekend!