The year is quickly coming to an end, and another year is soon to begin. Are we ready to leave this year behind, with all the successes and failures we've had?
Friends, every new year is an opportunity for us to grow more Christ-like; to give more love to our family, friends and neighbors; and for us to see God in a deeper, more meaningful way. But before we could see improvements in 2018, we need to see how we did in 2017.
How are we this year? Let's evaluate ourselves in light of Scripture so that we know what area we need to grow in, improve on, and what area do we need to have less. We might have some habits to let go of, mindsets to change, and new attitudes to grow. Whatever it is, we do it for Christ.
So without further ado, here are some Bible verses we should read and take to heart before the year ends. These verses will help us see ourselves and help us grow in Christ.
Hidden sins will consume you - Psalm 32:3-5
"When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. (Selah) I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord," and You forgave the iniquity of my sin."
Confessing sin to God allows for forgiveness - 1 John 1:8-10
"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us."
Works of the flesh vs. the Spirit - Galatians 5:19-25
"Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."
Walking in the light - Ephesians 5:8-13
"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light."
Loving God above all - Matthew 22:36-40
"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?"
"Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.'This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.""