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Be Steadfast

I recently finished a teaching series at Calvary Chapel Greeley on the end times, concluding the series on New Years Eve with a message entitled "Let Us Not Sleep." The Bible and especially the New Testament repeatedly tells us as believers not to sleep. We are to be sober and vigilant spiritually, especially when it comes to looking for our Lord's return. The Lord Himself warns us in Luke 21:34, "Take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down..." We know the warning in Hebrews 2, "Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away."

It should be our desire as we enter a new year that we heed what God's Word tells us to do in being steadfast in our Christian walk. There are a number of exhortations in the scriptures to do just that in our journey walking with the Lord. It is an exhortation that Sue and I have kept as a model for ministering here at Calvary Chapel. It was 28 years ago when we came to Greeley to start the church and we have always kept the priority of the ministry given in Acts 2:42, "and they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in breaking of bread, and in prayers." I believe God has blessed the church over the years because we have kept those four things as the model of ministry.

When David was going through trials he wrote in Psalm 57:7, "My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and give praise." We are to be steadfast in heart toward the Lord even in the trials and difficulties of life.

In Colossians 1:23, the apostle Paul writes, "if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard." We are to continue in the hope of the gospel. If we begin to put our hope in other things, then we will find ourselves becoming weak and discouraged.

Paul goes on to write in chapter 2 of Colossians to be steadfast in faith, "rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ." The way we grow in faith is by continuing to study and read the Word of God. Romans tells us that, "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God."

In 1 Corinthians 15:58, he tells us, "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." I have to remind myself and others that are serving the Lord of that truth.

As we are commanded to be steadfast, remember that we are to rely on the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. I need God's help to be steadfast. I know that I can't do it in my own flesh and my own efforts. 

As I consider being steadfast in this new year, I know I can look to the ultimate example given by my Lord: that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem. We are eternally grateful that He was steadfast in going to the cross to die for our sins. I know that as I'm steadfast in the things of the Lord, that it will benefit me spiritually. It will keep me strong in the Lord, and I will be a blessing and benefit to the people in my life, as I minister to them.

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