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Faithful in the New Year

Friday, December 30, 2011

by Dr. Paul Chappell

"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil."

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

One of the most tragic events during the Reagan Presidency was the Sunday morning terrorist bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, in which hundreds of Americans were killed or wounded as they slept. Many of us can still recall the terrible scenes as the dazed survivors worked to rescue their trapped brothers from beneath the rubble.

A few days after the tragedy, an extraordinary story was told of one of the injured soldiers. Marine Corps Commandant Paul X. Kelly visited some of the wounded survivors in a Frankfurt, Germany hospital. Among them was Corporal Jeffrey Lee Nashton, severely wounded in the incident. Nashton had so many tubes running in and out of his body that a witness said he looked more like a machine than a man, yet he survived.

As Kelly neared him, Nashton, struggling to move and racked with pain, motioned for a piece of paper and a pen. He wrote a brief note and passed it back to the Commandant. On the slip of paper were but two words "Semper Fi"-the Latin motto of the Marines meaning "forever faithful." With those two simple words Nashton spoke for the millions of Americans who have sacrificed body and limb and their lives for their country-those who have remained faithful.

As Christians, we should have the goal of being faithful for Christ until the end of our lives. If we are to be found faithful, there are some things we must do-our duty. First, we must fear God. Psalm 112:1 says, "Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments." God wants us to fear Him. Fear can be described as "concern or anxiety" but in regards to fearing God, the word fear is described as "reverential awe." God wants us to be in awe of Him or respect Him. We should respect Him so much that we serve Him.

If we don't fear or reverence God, we will not keep His commandments, which is the next part of our duty. He commands us to love one another. (John 15:12) None of us are perfect! But God does want us to love Him and to serve Him (John 12:26). Do you love others? Are you serving Him?

As we end this Christmas season and look forward to 2012, remember that God wants us to be faithful to Him until the end of our lives. As people are making resolutions for the new year, commit to remain faithful to God. Ask Him for the strength to stay faithful to Him throughout the new year and until His return.

To learn more about the ministries of Lancaster Baptist Church and Pastor Chappell, please visit lancasterbaptist.org, paulchappell.com, or follow him on twitter.

Daily Bible Reading
Zechariah 13-14 | Revelation 21