HOPE AND COURAGE FOR 2015 – Fred Henry

Colossians 1:9-20
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you.  We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his WILL through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and 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 giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people 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.

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.  For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Colossians 2:6-10
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.  See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather
than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head
over every power and authority.
Annual Bible Reading Plan
Continuous reading  through Psalms  – 1 each day.
(except Psalm 119 – break up into natural sections)
15 chapters in Old Testament – 3 chapters 5 days a week.
(except Psalms and Proverbs)
5  in New Testament – 1 chapter 5 days a week in following order:
Matthew
Acts – Romans
Mark
1 Corinthians – Ephesians
Luke
Philippians – Hebrews
John
James – Revelation
Read through Proverbs at least once a year – a few verses at a time.

Interact and apply what you read by keeping a daily journal of your reflections on the Bible texts.  Use the ‘SOAP’ method:
SCRIPTURE, OBSERVATION, APPLICATION, PRAYER.

Combine with Prayer using the ‘ACTS’ format:
ADORATION, CONFESSION, THANKSGIVING, SUPPLICATION
The Lord’s Prayer (‘The Our Father’) is also an excellent prayer pattern.

Follow that with a daily life of practicing the communion of God’s presence and obedience to him!

The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead, and buried.  He descended to hell.  The third day he rose again from the dead.  He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.  From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.  I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic (universal) church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
In Christ Alone
Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev’ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow’r of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand.