Perseverance into 2014
As the clock strikes midnight we step into a new year persevering in life and faith. Looking into the dictionary to persevere means to continue in an effort; to be steadfast in purpose.
While reading in Hebrews recently I was challenged with five thoughts to share about persevering in faith.
One: Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith (Heb. 10:22). Yearly, believers make resolutions to walk closer and deeper with the Lord. So, let us continue drawing closer and deeper in faith.
Two: Hold unswervingly to the hope we profess (Heb. 10:23). One commentary tells us “Christians can hold fast to their hope in this way because behind it is a God in whom they can have full confidence.”
Three: Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds (Heb. 10:24). Christians should be a group of people who encourage each other forward. The local churches serve in these purposes like cheerleaders rooting the team on. Ever go to a local high school game and listen to the squad cheering on the players? May we spur each other on day by day, week by week and month by month.
Four: Let us not give up meeting together (Heb. 10:25). There are so many challenges that discourage us; but to have a local friend to pray with us or listen and cheer us onward is encouraging.
Sunday is a day for worship but its also a day to re-charge our batteries so to speak.
Lastly: Let us encourage one another (Heb. 10:25). Remember we are from the country. Hold onto good old fashioned country hospitality; caring about each other. I was once visiting a friend in Toronto at an apartment building. While Boarding an elevator I spoke to a stranger in my normal friendly way. I was informed this was unacceptable behavior by my friend. My response was if you are friendly to others then they will respond the same way. Let us encourage one another.
To reinforce these five goals, here is an illustration.
Have you ever wondered why the Canadian geese fly only in the V formation? For years specialists in aerodynamics wondered the same thing.
Two engineers calibrated in a wind tunnel what happens in such a v formation. Each goose, in flapping his wings, creates an upwards lift for the goose that follows. When all the geese do their part in the V formation, the whole flock has a 71 percent greater flying range than if each bird flew alone. Each depends upon the other to get to its destination.
Something else – When a goose begins to lag behind, the others “honk” it back into place.
Now, let us learn from God’s animal creation. The church needs to fly in a spiritual V formation, “honking” one another into steadfastness. And it must be at least 71 percent easier to live the faithful Christian life flying with the flock as opposed to going it alone. “Let us consider one another, to provoke unto love and to good works” (Heb. 10:24).
Let us honk each other forward throughout 2014. Have a great weekend.