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Challenge Yourself in 2023

It’s 2023. A new year. Which means new opportunities. New adventures. New beginnings. New goals. And of course, new challenges.

Here are six things we can do to help make 2023 the best year yet:

Take advantage of what the congregation at Tidewater offers (Heb. 10:24-25): Come to services. Attend Bible classes. Bro. David Carlton is teaching I and II Samuel on Sunday mornings for the first two quarters. Bro. Rich Colclough is teaching Romans on Wednesday nights this quarter. Be here for those classes. Bring your children to Bible class. Be a part of our regularly-scheduled men’s and women’s classes. Participate in the small working group in which you are a member. And don’t forget our gospel meetings. Mark your calendars for April 28-30 for our meeting with Bro. Tommy Peeler and in the fall with Bro. Kevin Clark. It’s just more opportunities to learn, grow, and develop.

Develop daily spiritual habits (Acts 17:11): Find a daily Bible reading plan that works for you. Engage the family in regular devotions and meditations of the scripture. It’s the little things — if we do them every day — that will make a difference in our lives.

Pray: Start every day with a prayer (Mark 1:35) and end every day with a prayer. Prayer is our link to God; how we communicate with Him. Get in the habit of praying (I Thess. 5:17). And pray hard. Pray deep prayers, not superficial ones. Pray for the church at Tidewater. Pray for the Bible class teachers and the preacher. Pray for your family. And pray for yourself.

Be hospitable (Rom. 12:13): Get to know one another. If you’ve never opened up your home, give it a try. If you can’t cook — like me — then order a bunch of pizzas. Invite some people over who you don’t know very well but would like to know better. Connect with your brethren.

Do one thing you’ve never done before: Step outside your comfort zone. Be a Moses (Ex. 3:11, 4:10) or a Peter (Acts 10). Spiritual growth requires doing some difficult things. What is one thing you can do spiritually to help you get out of your comfort zone? We wear the name of Christ, who excelled for us. Can we excel for Him?

Seek what you can give, not get (Acts 2:41-47): Think of all the spiritual demands after 3,000 souls were converted. Did these people seek what they could get, or what they could give? Seek what you can give to the Lord and to others: time, energy, a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, kind words, prayer, hospitality. Remember, Jesus didn’t come to be served. He came to serve (Matt. 20:28).

Steven Matthews


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