Happy New Year!!!

“See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind” (Isaiah 65:17).

Happy New Year! We are at the last Verse of the Day for 2022. The next time we see each other it will already be 2023!

It’s funny how the New Year always seems to present us with an opportunity for a reset. I want you to prayerfully consider your “reset.” How can you live your life in such a way that honors Christ and honors who he saved you to be?

Everything you are today is the result of all your past decisions. The people who are a blessing, the people who are a curse, the place you find yourself in life…all of this is the product of the decisions you made in the past.

C. S. Lewis wrote, “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

I love that! There is nothing we can do about our past. It’s done. However, should you and I start making more God-honoring decisions, we can write a completely different ending.

What a gift. God is giving us 2023 so that we might be more like him.

So, as we enter the last weekend of 2023, consider committing to these three things:

  1. Worship – Worshiping Jesus on the Lord’s Day will be non-negotiable. Wherever you are you will find a house of worship to worship the risen Christ.
  2. Small Group – Studying and reading the Bible with others in small groups. You will grow and have opportunities to put into action what you are reading and studying in relationship with others in small groups.
  3. Service – Commit to serving God through his church and ministry opportunities. Find where your passions and your giftedness connects with a need.

I pray that 2023 will be a fantastically God-honoring year for you!

Happy New Year!!!


“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23).

The Bible translation we use at the Little Church and Lakewoodgrace is the NIV or the New International Version. We use this version of the Bible because it is a good combination of faithfulness to the original text and readability for modern readers.

But the thing about any of the translations is that they are translations. Every translation has to balance faithfulness to the original language and the meaning of the original language.

This verse is a perfect example of that. The New Century Version translates the verse in this way: “Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.”

How can the two translations be so different? Which one is right?

They are both right. Here’s why:

  • The NIV translates the Hebrew more literally and faithfully
  • The NCV translates the Hebrew meaning more literally and faithfully

The key is in the word translated as “heart” by the NIV and “thoughts” by the NCV. The Hebrew word is heart. But the problem in translating the Hebrew word as heart in English is that for American readers heart refers to emotions and feelings. That’s not what the Jews meant by “heart.” You see, the heart was the place of thoughts and reasoning. Our brain is the same as the way the Jews thought about the heart.

So both are correct. Do guard your heart – the place of thoughts and reasoning. For everything you do flows from the basis of your thinking.

This is what the Apostle Paul had in mind in 2 Corinthians 10:5, “Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

What and how you think absolutely matters. If you think that God can’t, your God can’t. If you believe that your God can, you are right. What and how we think matters. So think like a Christian. Think like you believe the God of the Bible. Let the Bible be the basis of your thinking.

Got it? Think like a Christian. Think like a Christ-follower.

Blessed is the One Who Reads the Word of God

“Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it” – Revelation 1:3.

Have you made yours? It’s that time of the year. You know. New Year’s resolutions.

As we come to 2023, I want to challenge you to make a commitment to reading and studying God’s word every day. I am so encouraged by the numbers of you who have shown interest in the Daily Bible Reading project. There are still plenty of booklets to help you read the Bible every day.

What’s the big deal with reading the Bible? Alistair Begg says, “There is a direct correlation between the word of God being proclaimed, believed, obeyed, shared, and lived and the multiplication of the church.” And John Calvin says, “Wherever we find the word of God surely preached and heard, and the sacraments administered according to the institution of Christ, there, it is not to be doubted, is a church of God.”

The word of God read, heard, proclaimed, obeyed is one of the keys to not only personal renewal and growth but the renewal and growth of God’s church.

The psalmist tells us, “Thy word is a lamp for my feet, and a light on unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). If you want to know how to live your life in a that honors Christ, you gotta get into God’s word.

A typical daily Bible reading program will take you about ten minutes a day. It will be one of the best investments you will ever make.

If you are interested in the Daily Bible reading program that many in our church is participating in, give us a call in the office. Another fantastic resource is http://www.youversion.com. There you can find a daily reading program that meets your needs.

Ready? Do it. Join us in reading and studying God’s word and let’s grow together!