The Four F’s
For the Fourth Year (2004)
While thinking deeply and introspectively about how
to enter and live in the new year, the Lord impressed upon my heart
the need to make commitments for spiritual growth and advancement in
every area of life.
Though usually, everybody looks for a Wonderful Promise for the new
year, the Lord taught me to commit ourselves to obey His Word rather
than always making demands based on His Promises. No doubt, His Promises
are faithful and He will surely keep them! But what about our responsibility?
What God expects from us? Here are the Four Commitments to enhance our
spiritual standard and keep us close to Him in this new year.
1. Be Filled with
the Holy Spirit: Ephesians 5:18.
It is like what the Lord Jesus promised before His ascension, that when
the Holy Spirit comes, His disciples would be filled with power and
they would be His witnesses all over the world. Though all believers
have the indwelling presence of the Spirit of God, yet all need the
continuous filling of the Spirit for effective living and powerful ministry.
It is the surrendering of our total being to the Spirit’s control.
When that happens, joyful worship and spiritual communication that edifies
one another takes place in the fellowship of saints. May we continuously
seek and experience the filling of the Holy Spirit so that our lives
produce the fruit, the character of Christ. (Gal.
2. Be Firm in the
Faith: 1 Corinthians 15:58; Hebrews 3:14.
These days many people’s commitments are wavering due to change
of circumstances. Even some have left their original faith and forsook
the Lord and left His church. These are the days when God’s people
are going through severe trials for their faith. Hence, we need to commit
ourselves to be firm and steadfast in the faith. Nothing should move
us from our calling and distract our focus from the author and finisher
of our faith (Heb.12:3).
In Col. 2:6,7 we are exhorted to “be rooted and built up in Him...”
This tells us how strong and deep our convictions have to be in Christ.
Only then can we experience stability and growth in the faith. But it
does not happen in oneday! We have to exhort one another daily, so that
no one will become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin and become weak
and fall back (Heb.3:13).
To resist Satan’s attacks, we have to stand firm in the faith
(1 Peter 5:9).
We will also be victorious because of our Lord (1 John 5:4,5). Amen.
3. Be Faithful till
the End: Revelation 2:10
It is God’s plan to complete what He has begun and to end what
He has started. He never leaves nor forsakes, even when we fail to keep
in step in with Him. But He expects us to remain faithful whatever the
situation- favourable or problematic. Apostle Paul encouraged saints
at Philippi by expressing his confidence that God will definitely carry
it on to completion what He has begun in their lives (Phil. 1:6).
However, in the midst of trials, as John writes in his letter to the
church at end time, it would be difficult to maintain the original faith
and love towards the Lord and His work. But Peter says that, there is
comfort and encouragement to hold on when we remember that others are
also going through similar sufferings for sake of Christ. (1Peter 5:9).
And note the promise here, that God Himself will strengthen, sanctify,
and make us firm and steadfast after we have suffered for a while. Amen.
4. Be Fruitful in
Everything: Colossians 1:10.
The very blessing God pronounced on the first man and woman was to “be
fruitful and fill the earth...” (Gen. 1:28). The same blessing
is repeated for the spiritually life by the Lord Jesus in John 15:16,
“I have chosen to go and bear fruit...” And Apostle Paul
prays for Colossians that they may, among other things, “bear
fruit in every good work” (Col.1:10).
Spiritual fruit is the by-product of a righteous life.The Bible identifies
spiritual fruit as leading people to Christ (1Cor. 16;15), praising
God (Heb.13:15), giving money (Rom. 15:26-28), living a godly life (Heb.12:11),
and displaying holy attitudes (Gal. 5:22-23).
The evidence of spiritual growth include a deeper love for God’s
Word (Ps. 119:97), a more perfect obedience (1 John 2:3-5), a strong
doctrinal foundation (1 John 2:12-14), an expanding faith (2 Thess.1:3;
2Cor. 10:5), and a greater love for others (Phil. 1:9).
Let us commit ourselves to be fruitful in everything we do. In using
out time, talents and treasures, may we be investing them, rather than
wasting, may we utilize them wisely rather than not using at all! In
our communications, relationships with others, in our professions, in
our daily activities, may we see the blessing of the Lord for fruitfulness
and fulfilment. Amen.
“Now may the God
of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound
in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13.