Looking back on 2016, it has been a year of struggle and disappointment for many believers—jobs of even meager earnings have been lost, some family members have been unfaithful and devilish, managing finances proved arduous, and maintaining a modicum of faith in God was often a struggle. Yet He was faithful, He kept His children afloat and they survived. Even so, most Christians look forward to 2017 with anticipation and hope that things will be not just better, but victorious, for themselves, their families and friends.
First, all believers must recognize that we are living in the last days of man’s rule on earth. People all over the globe live with or watch war, death, and poverty encroach upon their lives on a daily basis. Many good people did not survive 2016. Thus, Christians must double-down on attaining the spiritual growth necessary, not only for survival, but for Victory in 2017. These growth factors must include more Bible, more prayer, more love for God, family and everyone else, and more godliness in thoughts, words and actions.
Thus, Christians must dedicate themselves to knowing the Bible better. It is not enough just to read what people write about the Bible. True believers must read God’s Word for themselves. Enough of this sitting in church for twenty years and not knowing how to find the Book of Habakkuk, or who Apostle Jude is. Christians must dedicate more personal time each day to studying—and praying in and about–God’s Word for themselves.
Such re-dedication to His Holy Word means reading it more, learning the organization and types of its Books—i.e. History, Prophecy, Gospels, Epistles, etc.—and praying more for understanding of That Word. It also means memorizing more Bible verses. The warrior Joshua demands that God’s people think more—i.e. memorize—God’s Words: “This Book of the Law shall not depart [i.e. stop coming] out of thy mouth [through speaking and confession]; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success (Joshua 1: 8).”
Some preachers teach that confessing a few favorite verses is enough, but true believers must live and believe what they confess. (A person confessing the same verse several times a day, but using vile and faithless language otherwise, while exercising shallow faith in The True God, should not expect full blessings.) Memorizing and confessing as much of God’s Word as possible makes His Word a part of you, and you then become a walking example of His Word.
Let me explain another reason for memorizing and repeating verses as often as possible: Back when the walls of the Soviet Union fell, the people living behind the Iron Curtain screamed with joy and delight. One man stood up on the rubble and demanded that they all thank God for their new-found freedom (that freedom coming largely from faithful Christians in the Free World Christians who prayed). A few tried to lead in a hymn they remembered from their childhood. One man tried to lead them in The LORD’s prayer, but sadly, few could remember the words.
Why? Because, the Communist government indoctrinated their own books as the ‘new Bibles.’ Those same rulers tore down most churches or turned them into office buildings. Anything that those in the crowd remembered about God’s Word came from what their grandmothers had taught them decades ago. Soon school, newspapers, politicians—yes even radio, television and worldly music–obliterated God’s Word from their minds. (Even more shameful, too many who confess to be Christians in the U.S. today also have slight memory of God’s Written Word, because they seldom bother to memorize some of It’s passages, and spend more time on the things of this world.)
Remember, The LORD Jesus says that His Words are the very essence of life: “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life (John 6: 63).” Apostle John also wrote of His Savior: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men (John 1: 1 – 4).” Your Savior knows where the jobs are, and He knows the job He wants you to have. He also knows where the funds are for your businesses.
As the Old Testament writer, Job, learned through his many struggles: “Surely there is a vein for the silver, and a place for gold where they fine it. . . . The stones of it are the place of sapphires: and it hath dust of gold. There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture’s eye hath not seen: The lion’s whelps have not trodden it, nor the fierce lion passed by it. . . God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof (28: 1 – 23).” The vicious fowl, vultures and lions refer to that feigned god, Satan, and his evil angels and demons–the ones which use the Christian’s wrong words and actions, and that of others, to block the successes God wants to give His children. So in 2017 we must stop cooperating with these destroyers and start walking and speaking more in God’s methods for our health, happiness and good success.
Job learned these truths through suffering and loss, and he left us a road map so that we can find the path that God has for our favor, honor and good success. So open those wholesale Christian Bibles and get ready for 2017 to be the best and most prosperous year you have ever had! Next we will suggest new prayer goals for 2017. Don’t forget to catch our internet radio-TV show on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. EST at Worship Detroit.com. God Bless you, and let us shout thanksgiving together for God’s blessings in the coming New Year!