Ready or not, the new year is here. How will you and I use our time in the upcoming year? Will we set our affections on things above or on things of the earth (Col. 3:2)? Why don't we challenge ourselves to do more for the Lord in the year 2007 than we have ever done in the past? Better yet, why don't we become more spiritually-minded and kingdomoriented this coming year? We can do it! Let's focus on the following areas:

More serious Bible study

Cod's Word is a lamp for our feet and a light for our path (Ps. 119:105). His Word is able to save our souls (James 1:22), building us up and giving us an inheritance among all them that are sanctified (Acts 20:32). How wonderful that Cod has given us His Word to show us the way of true life!

How tragic that His children sometimes get so busy with the daily affairs of life that they do not spend much time studying the Bible! Why not plan to read the Bible completely through in 2007? This would be a great blessing to your life. If you want to read the Bible from cover to cover in a year's time, it will be easier and more beneficial if you have a set schedule to follow. It takes discipline to set aside time for reading and studying the Bible, but you can do it! There are 929 chapters in the Old Testament and 260 in the New Testament, totaling 1,189 chapters. To read the entire Bible in one year, you would only need to read an average of 3.25 chapters per day. Is that too much?

More diligent efforts to teach our children

This concept is clearly taught in the Bible (Deut. 6:4-9; Eph. 6:4). Teaching the Bible to kids requires serious effort. Parents have a number of responsibilities to their kids, including providing for their material, physical, educational, social, and recreational needs. However, the most important task for all Christian parents is to teach their children the will of the Lord and show them how to serve Him faithfully!

If we could just get parents to understand this great truth, we would make great progress in terms of getting more dads and moms to be serious and diligent in teaching their kids about the Bible. Let's teach our kids more in the coming year. It will be a blessing for them and us as well.

More zeal in evangelism

Jesus Christ wants all people to hear His gospel and follow Him (Mark 16:15, 16). Do we share that desire? Do we really want everyone to be saved and go to heaven? If so, then we must share the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ, His Son!

Let us imitate the spirit of Apollos, of whom we read, "And being fervent in the spirit, he spoke and taught diligently the things of the Lord" (Acts 18:25).

I am confident that in the coming year, we can find more time to teach Christ's gospel to the lost. Yes, we live in a fastpaced, busy society. Sometimes we feel that we don't even have time to breathe. But surely we can find time to discuss the Bible with lost people? If we sing about "seeking the lost" and going "anywhere with Jesus," then surely we can back up our claims by putting forth the effort to try and teach precious souls how to follow Jesus Christ! Let's teach more in 2007!

More involvement in visitation

A visit can do so much to help, comfort, or stir up a troubled soul. Just whom can we visit? We can visit those who have physical needs or physical sicknesses (Matt. 25:34-40). Deliver a meal to someone who is shut in. Spend 30 minutes talking with (and listening to) a member of the church who is unable to attend services. Co to the funeral home when someone has lost a loved one and is grieving. You don't necessarily need to say anything special to those who are mourning just sitting with them and being present can really comfort them, letting them know that you care. Visiting folks when they are discouraged can be a real blessing to the visited and the visitor. And let's remember to visit and exhort those members of the body of Christ who have left their first love. Yes, let's visit more in 2007!

When you go visiting, take your children with you so that they can learn from an early age the blessing of giving to and caring for others. But shouldn't the elders and preacher be doing a lot of visiting? Absolutely, but so should all Christians! Blessed is the congregation in which the members truly understand this truth.

More faithful in attendance

Obviously, if a child of God attends services every time the doors are open, then he/she can not attend more often than that (although getting to services on time may be an area that needs improvement). Thank God for those who attend every worship assembly and every Bible study, regardless of the weather or their personal circumstances. For those who willfully miss such worship assemblies and periods of public Bible study with other Christians, what can they do in the coming year? They need to stop forsaking such assembling (Heb. 10:25). 

The Bible has a built-in cure for willfully missing worship services and Bible study. I guarantee you that it works every time. What is this no-fail cure? "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness" (Matt. 6:33).

There it is. When a child of God puts the things of God first in his or her heart and life, then he or she will come to every Bible study and worship service of the church just as naturally as a cow will seek out water when it is thirsty. That's just the way it is. Let's keep on encouraging each other to do the best we possibly can when it comes to being faithful in attendance.

General Conference Seventh-day Adventist Ministerial Association