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And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. — Colossians 1:10-14
Several years ago at The Cove, we had the privilege of attending a Military Marriage Seminar with Pastor Tommy Nelson from Denton Bible Church in Texas. You might have heard of this great man of God—he is the one who has taught lessons from the Song of Solomon to many young people (and us older folks, too!).
When the weekend together was drawing to a close, Pastor Nelson ended with ten admonitions to the 125 military couples gathered. The points were, in part, a summary of the seminar, but also a strong closing challenge for all of us.
Here are the ten points from Tommy Nelson, and our choice of Bible verses to accompany his teaching:
1. “Go to the Bible every day for a time of study and meditation.”
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
2. “Keep a notebook of your daily prayers during your time with the Lord.”
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Ephesians 6:18
3. “Find a God-honoring church.”
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:25
4. “Honor God with your money—right off the top of your income. Support the work of Christ’s church.”
Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21
5. “Keep Christian standards.”
Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Philippians 1:27a
6. “Grow in your Christian walk—let God guard and control your heart.”
Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. 2 Peter 3:17,18
7. “Share your faith.”
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. 1 Peter 3:15
8. “Dream of what God can do with your life. Let God take your life and use it.”
Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Psalm 37:4-6
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23,24
9. “Trust God. No matter what.”
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
10. “Finish well.”
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace. Acts 20:24
Questions to Share:
1. Which of these admonitions do you feel you are already accomplishing?
2. Which of these admonitions do you feel you need to work on? What “next steps” could you take to grow in that area?