It Is Written Continues to Air Church Programming in Response to Church Closures

It Is Written will continue to air relevant, uplifting, and inspiring content for those who are unable to attend church. Join us this weekend on It Is Written TV (www.itiswritten.tv) for Bible study with special guests Dr. Michael Hasel and Dr. Frank Hasel, followed by a special sermon from Pastor John Bradshaw.

Bible study will consist of learning how to interpret Scripture. The study guide used in the program and written by the Drs. Hasel can be accessed here. Past Bible study programs can be viewed here.

John Bradshaw will present a new sermon each week from our In the Word series. Past In the Word episodes can be viewed here.

See the schedule below for airtimes.

Schedule:

(all times are North American Eastern Daylight Time)

Friday

8:30 p.m. Bible study; 9 p.m. Sermon

Saturday

10:30 a.m. Bible study; 11 a.m. Sermon

1:30 p.m. Bible study; 2 p.m. Sermon

8 p.m. Sermon

Sunday

10:30 a.m. Bible study; 11 a.m. Sermon

8 p.m. Sermon

It Is Written TV is available online at itiswritten.tv and on Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Play, Roku, and more.

It Is Written TV features not only a 24/7 livestream but also all It Is Written programming on demand: the award-winning It Is Written series; the new shows Conversations, Line Upon Line, and In the Word; several Spanish series, including Escrito Está; It Is Written Classics with founder George Vandeman; and other high-quality programs.

Closed to Travel, Open to Christ

Europe was closing to international travel just as our team of volunteers arrived in Siberia. Some had to return home immediately, but those who could, stayed, and God multiplied their efforts. The small group divided themselves between three cities: Omsk, Novosibirsk, and Ulan Ude. They held three evangelistic meetings and three medical clinics. 

Pastor Armen, a local pastor, shared this report about our team’s time in Novosibirsk: 

From March 14 to 20, in Novosibirsk, on the right bank, the It Is Written volunteers held a comprehensive wellness program. In the morning, for four hours before lunch, they took blood pressures, measured blood sugar, and took vitals. About 30 community members received consultations along with 15 church members. 

Doctor Ken Mindoro gave daily health lectures from a Biblical perspective. He covered eight principles of health and answered group and individual questions. He also spoke with each guest, answering questions about health and lifestyle changes. Each guest received a health book and diary, and every day before the lectures, instructors and organizers of the program prayed with the guests.

The time invested resulted in a huge blessing. As Dr. Ken said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” This isn’t his or his family’s first mission trip, but it was their first trip to Siberia. “My wife and I wanted to help people living in Siberia,” Dr. Ken shared. “We wanted to share principles for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and worship with Jesus together. Next year, if God pleases, we plan to come back to Siberia to serve people in new areas.”

One guest I’ll call Natalia left her address and said that she would like to be visited for prayer and further study. The local pastor and his wife arrived at her home and presented her with a book called Steps to Christ. They also prayed for her health, for the well-being of her family and grandchildren, and listened with interest to the story of her life and learned about her relationship with the Lord.

“Something attracted me to visit this program,” Natalia explained, “I was invited by my friend who politely and lovingly told me about the love of God. I felt a special atmosphere of kindness and light here.”

As a result, a trusting relationship was established, and Natalia and others like her came to find peace in Jesus’ love. The week ended with the celebration of the Lord’s Supper with the community and the baptism of five souls who joyfully joined the local church family. 

As of March 27, all the volunteers had safely returned home, thankful for the opportunity to fellowship and serve in Siberia. Due to the current travel restrictions and health concerns, several of the upcoming It Is Written mission trips have been postponed. To learn more visit our missions page.

 

8 Lessons From the Coronavirus

There’s much we can learn from the coronavirus crisis. Let’s look at a few coronavirus lessons, in no order of importance.

1. People can make you sick. I heard a sermon more than 25 years ago, preached by a man who sadly is now no longer a believer. He said that if you grow a garden, you wouldn’t be wise to locate it right at your property line if your neighbor’s property was filled with weeds. Because even if you do everything right, seeds from your neighbor’s property are going to blow into your garden and fill it with weeds. Proximity is a serious consideration. The same is true with the coronavirus, which affects people via other people. We need to be careful about what we catch from other people.

That’s especially true in a spiritual sense. It’s vital that we’re careful about what we catch from other people. Associations matter because attitudes rub off. If you’re in school and the popular kids aren’t serious about God, having them in your inner circle could be hazardous to your spiritual health. If your work associates or friends are corrosive to your faith, be exceedingly careful about how you let that association influence you. People have influence. We’re all influencers. Be careful of the influence of others.

2. Be careful how you spray. We’ve been reminded again and again to cough or sneeze into our elbows, so as not to affect or endanger others. Too many people “spray” their anger, bad language, and hateful attitudes on other people, who in turn are adversely affected by that. Your racist, sexist, or demeaning “joke” might be funny to you, but it’s going to harm others. Venting your anger might be acceptable to you, but it “sprays” on others. When you see a skunk, your first reaction might be, “I hope that thing doesn’t spray near me!” Some people evoke the same reaction as skunks. “I hope he doesn’t blow up.” “I hope she doesn’t start criticizing other people.” We have no right to “spray” others with our dysfunction. If you can’t muster up self control, if you can’t surrender your anger and frustration to God, it doesn’t make it okay for you to spray it upon others. It’s unfair, and it brings others down.

Lesson 3 from the coronavirus. It’s important to separate fact from fiction. “10 percent of the world’s population is going to die.” “This will last 18 months!” The truth is, we don’t yet have all the answers. I’ve seen numerous emails being forwarded containing miracle cures, the “truth” about the coronavirus, and remedies that are guaranteed to keep you safe. It’s almost certain that they won’t. The internet is like the Sears-Roebuck catalogues of yesteryear. You can find almost whatever you’re looking for. The same is apparently true of the Bible, because there are people who can appeal to the Bible to support just about anything at all. It’s important–from a Biblical perspective–to separate fact from fiction. Don’t fall for every last thing someone tells you about God, or about the Bible. The devil has no shortage of people wanting to lead you astray, divert your attention, and weaken your faith. The Bible is the truth. What someone says about the Bible is not necessarily the truth.

4. It’s good to think about the common good. We’re in this together. Your actions have a reaction. That’s why EVERYONE is being asked to act responsibly, to consider others. It might be that the coronavirus is going to bounce right off you. In fact, statistically speaking, there’s a very good chance that you’re going to be barely affected, physically. But even if you’re okay, you don’t want to be a carrier, a transmitter, of this illness. Spiritually speaking, you can be a negative force or a positive force in this world. You get to choose what you’re going to be. Consider your influence and use it for the good of others. And notice: at no time have you heard it said that only people who are specially qualified can pass on illness. You just have to be alive, and you can be a carrier. It’s the same with faith. You don’t have to be special, just special to God, and you can act for the good of everyone.

Lesson 5 from the coronavirus. Do the simple things to protect yourself. Wash your hands, avoid the sick, eat well, exercise, get rest. These are simple things. In faith, it’s the same. Read your Bible. Talk to God. Let your light shine. There’s nothing hard about these things. Spiritually, you want to do the simple things to protect yourself. If you’re not reading your Bible, then you’re not spiritually strong, and you shouldn’t fool yourself into thinking you are. Prayer and Bible reading are habit-forming. Do them, and you’ll want to do them more.

6. Things change fast. Two months ago, precious few people were talking about this. Now it’s the topic of almost every conversation, and it is dominating the news. When 2020 began, we had no idea that less than three months later the economy would be shutting down, cities would be under lockdown, people would have lost jobs, schools would be shut… Someone once said that the final movements would be rapid ones. That statement couldn’t be any more correct.

7. A final lesson from the coronavirus (and there are certainly many more.) It’s always right to do the right things. It’s always been right to look after your health, to cough into your sleeve, to stay away from work when you’re sick or contagious, to get exercise, to get adequate rest, and to think about the wellbeing of others. It’s best to incorporate these principles into your daily life anyway. It’s wise to simply make good practices part of everyday life. The same is true in a relationship with God. You don’t want to wait until tragedy strikes to discover prayer. You don’t want to be in the midst of a crisis to turn to the Bible. The wise things are always wise. Right is always right. God’s principles for successful living are simply the best things to do.

8. A final final lesson! Have faith in God. God has not given us the spirit of fear, according to 2 Timothy 1:7. God truly exists (Hebrews 11:6), He is love (1 John 4:8), He loves you (Jeremiah 31:3), Jesus is coming back to this world (John 14:3), and eternity awaits (1 Thessalonians 4:17). This is a great time for faith in a great God. The best is yet to come!

P.S. Don’t miss my conversation with Dr. Roger Seheult, a pulmonology, critical care, and sleep specialist. Dr. Seheult shares some vital insights into the coronavirus crisis. Be sure to watch and share with others. You can click here to watch it.

Going Strong in Siberia

In spite of all the coronavirus frenzy back home, our Siberia mission trip volunteers are doing very well in Siberia. They are working in three large cities (Omsk, Novosibirsk, and Ulan Ude) where they are conducting health clinics during the day and Bible presentations at night.

The doctor in Novosibirsk, who also happens to be the preacher, summarizes his day as follows: “We are fully utilizing the clinic space to register our guests, perform a number of health screening tests (including a step test, blood pressure, and blood sugar screenings). After a prayer with the whole team, we sit down with our guests to discuss the health topic of the day. So far, we have discussed diabetes and epigenetics. Today, we will be discussing cancer screening and prevention. Following the group discussion, we set aside time for one-on-one consultations with the guests, during which we personally invite each and every one to our nightly meetings. Attendance at the nightly meetings is usually between 20-25 people. I am presenting both a health topic and the main sermon every evening. We continue to have new guests coming each night, and some have responded to appeals for baptism.”

Keep praying for our team in Siberia.  They are doing an impressive work for the Lord.

It Is Written Missions: Belize Update

In late February, 27 students and teachers from Jefferson Christian Academy in Jefferson, Texas left for the country of Belize on their first It Is Written mission trip. They didn’t know what to expect, but they were excited. From freshman to seniors, the group was ready to work. And they worked hard. 

Belize is a small, lush Central American country squeezed between Mexico, Guatemala, and the Caribbean Sea. In February, the weather is beautiful: warm in the day and cool at night. The students were welcomed with open arms and quickly learned to love the local fare–beans and rice. 

The students made their two-week home at the La Loma Luz Hospital and set out to make friends for Jesus. Several of the students were assigned to build housing at the hospital–a project that has seen very gradual progress over the past three years. In just a few days, they made record progress. A mechanic and fellow student leader repaired several local vehicles, shared some of his trade tricks, and left some of his tools so that more repairs could be made. 

Pila, the academy’s boys dean and trip leader, knew this trip would be different. For the first time, the students were going to be preaching some of the three evangelistic meetings taking place in the evenings. Joined by the mission team choir and equipped with It Is Written media slides and notes, the students prepared to share what they believed in English and Spanish. 

One meeting took place in a tent across the street from a city park filled with young people, loud music, and alcohol. One night, as the students preached, a man approached Pila and asked him about Daniel 11. Pila could smell the alcohol on his breath as the man shared that he had been baptized 45 years before. Pila saw him the next night, listening from under a tree across the street. He prayed that hope was being planted in the man’s heart again. 

During the day, the student choir provided a Vacation Bible School program at a nearby grade school. The teachers took a needed break while the It Is Written mission team sang songs, played games, shared stories, and made friends. Nathan caught the eye of Erian, one of the grade school students. Just seven years old, Erian came from a broken home. When things were not going well at home, his mother would pack him a bag and send him out to the street until the police would pick him up.

Nathan and Erian soon became inseparable. At the end of the two weeks in Belize, the team planned an outing to tube some caves and do zip lining. Nathan couldn’t leave Erian behind. He decided to let his friends go on without him, and he spent the day with Erian. As Nathan left for the airport the next day, Erian hung on for dear life. He didn’t want his new friend to leave. 

As the team left, students gave up purchasing memorabilia from their trip. Instead, they saved the money to buy their new friends in Belize gifts like crayons and colored paper. Nathan said he wanted to save the $45 a year it will cost to keep Erian in Christian school. 

Back home, the academy students asked Pila if they could go across the street and spend time with the grade school children here. They realized how a little attention and a smile could make a huge difference in a child’s life. 

“We will definitely do an It Is Written mission trip again,” Pila promised. “Everything went so well. It was such a blessing to be on this trip. I asked the students to raise their hand if they enjoyed the trip. Everyone’s hands went up and they told me, ‘We went to teach but they taught us. We didn’t just enjoy it, we were blessed!’”

It Is Written hosts mission trips around the world every year. Learn more at itiswritten.com/missiontrips

It Is Written Honors Black History Month With Three Special Programs

In February, It Is Written aired three special programs in honor of Black History Month. Two were new programs, and one was a rebroadcast of last year’s “Black Wall Street,” which won five Telly Awards

Black History Month is an important part of the American landscape,” said John Bradshaw, president of It Is Written. “Last year we began filming programs specifically for Black History Month, realizing we had the opportunity to not only tell important stories from the history of this country but also to draw powerful biblical principles from these stories.

In recent years, It Is Written has invested more time and energy into filming inspirational and uplifting programs on location, which has allowed for a greater and more diverse range of storytelling. “These on-location programs give us the opportunity to dig deeper into biblical themes and present Christian principles, taken right from the Bible, with far greater effectiveness,” said Michael Bell, It Is Written media production director. 

The Black History Month programs cover important historical civil rights events. “The story of the Black Wall Street in Greenwood, Oklahoma, is barely known, in spite of it being one of the most shocking events in American history,” said John Bradshaw. “The story of the Scottsboro Boys once gripped the country, but it’s a story that’s now all but forgotten. It shouldn’t be. The story of what happened in Selma, Alabama, in 1965 is frequently retold and even reenacted, but for many people, it’s history and little more. These stories can inform our todays in addition to reminding us of our yesterdays. We’re not only remembering history, but we’re also looking at that history through the lens of the Word of God.”

The programs were well-received by a diverse audience. One viewer wrote, “Thank you so much for your acknowledgment of Black history! Thanks for the courage to share the wrongs of the past!”

“We would like you to know how full of gratitude our hearts are for, not just the It Is Written program, but in particular, the ‘Black Wall Street’ broadcast,” said another viewer. “We were not aware that this event ever took place. That is why we want you to know how thankful we are that you took the time to produce this program. This worldwide ministry is a blessing to us and so many others; it looks into things that most churches don’t pay much attention to! In conclusion, we say to the entire staff and volunteers, keep up the great work. ‘Being confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 1:6).”

“Thank you for producing these programs in recognition of the American history which involves African-Americans and our connection to the mission of Christ,” wrote a third viewer. “When the church speaks openly of issues (past and present), we learn how to speak with compassion and Christian love. Thank you again for your ministry!”

“I just watched it on TBN,” another viewer wrote. “It made me cry. I’m from Mexico, and I owe Martin Luther King Jr. and so many others like him and Pastor Reeb for all they sacrificed so I can now enjoy the freedom I have. God bless all who are still sacrificing so much for others.  And I thank God for His Son that made the biggest sacrifice for us all.”

“It’s not just our viewers that have taken notice,” said Michael Bell. “Our peers are also praising our programs for their quality and excellence. Last year, ‘Black Wall Street’ won multiple Telly Awards, including those for writing, editing, and cinematography.”

Learn more about the programs below. Click each title to watch it. 

“Black Wall Street”

In 1921, more than 300 people were massacred, thousands were left homeless, and an entire town was destroyed when people turned on their fellow citizens—in the United States of America. Which raises an important question: What kind of person would do that? The answer is surprising. Join John Bradshaw on location in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as we look at the challenge faced by every person: the sinful heart.

“Rights & Wrongs”

In the 1960s, the civil rights movement made history as Americans took a stand against racial injustice. Join John Bradshaw on location in Selma, Alabama, as he examines the atrocities committed there and the bravery of those who stepped up to do what was right, even when it cost them their lives.

“The Scottsboro Nine”

It was a colossal miscarriage of justice: nine young men found guilty of a crime they didn’t commit, and the deciding factor was the color of their skin. Join John Bradshaw in Scottsboro, Alabama, for this story of brutal discrimination, and learn why it’s so important to serve a God who is just.

The Coronavirus “And All the World…”

Everyone is talking about it. All over the world.

People are getting sick. People are dying. The stock market has taken a hit. Tourism numbers are now plunging in some parts of the world. It might impact the Olympic games.

As of Tuesday, March 3, there were approximately 100 confirmed cases of coronavirus, known as COVID-19, across the United States. There have been around 90,000 reported cases in the world, with around 3,100 deaths (including six in the U.S.).¹

Where the numbers will eventually go is anyone’s guess. But thankfully, the coronavirus isn’t HIV/AIDS or Ebola. Or even the flu. It’s serious, and it’s highly contagious. But as far as global epidemics go, as bad as it is–and 3,100 deaths is a tragedy, to be sure–the CDC estimates by comparison that as many as 46,000 people have died from the flu since October of last year in the United States alone!²

What we’re seeing is that it takes no time at all for the planet to focus its attention on an issue. The coronavirus as a phenomenon shows us that an issue can become an absolute global phenomenon like that. And that’s something that has prophetic significance.

For more than 25 years, I’ve had people ask me how the Earth’s last great crisis is going to become a global issue. I’ve lost track of how many times people have asked me how authorities will know who is refusing to receive the mark of the beast. “How will they know who’s going along with the mark of the beast and who isn’t?” Of course that’s a fair question, but what we’ve been reminded of yet again is that society is able to focus its attention on an issue, and make that issue the issue for the world, in no time at all. And that’s what’s going to happen in the end of time.

The world has become much smaller in recent years. Electronic communication has increased the speed with which news can travel and the ease with which reports can be beamed from one part of the globe to another. Someone once said that the final movements of this earth would be “rapid ones.” That someone was right.

We need not speculate as to when certain prophetic events are going to take place. We already know the answer. Soon.

The coronavirus phenomenon shows us things can change incredibly quickly. The Bible says that “and all the world wondered after the beast” and that “all that dwell upon the Earth shall worship him” (Revelation 13:3, 8). We’ve seen clearly illustrated in the last few weeks how an issue can become a global issue virtually overnight, how the unlikely can become a global reality in no time at all.

Six thousand years ago the Earth was infected with a disease called sin. It won’t be long and the whole world will be talking about the issues that will dominate the closing scenes of this world’s history.

Everyone will be talking about it. All over the world.

And those who are fully surrendered to Jesus will experience final deliverance when Jesus returns.

Click here to watch a video about coronavirus prevention and implications from John Bradshaw and medical expert Dr. David DeRose. A Spanish transcription of the video is available here from Escrito Está.


¹https://www.cbsnews.com/live-updates/coronavirus-outbreak-death-toll-us-infections-latest-news-updates-2020-03-03/

²https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/preliminary-in-season-estimates.htm

At the Right Time

God’s time is the right time. It may not always make sense, but it is always the right time. I was recently vividly reminded of that in two very different places in the world: Indianapolis, Indiana and Beirut, Lebanon. These are two of the places in the world where It Is Written is actively involved in sharing Jesus with people. Our approach is simple: Go where God leads and build relationships with those we encounter. This method has proven to be extremely successful.

A couple weeks ago, a group of us went into diverse Indianapolis neighborhoods to distribute the first lesson of the It Is Written Bible Study Guides. By the time we were done, 57 individuals had gladly accepted the lesson and were open to receiving another one the following week. David and Sandy, who were part of our team, stopped by the house of a lady who was watching a preacher on television. She explained to them that she was confused about what he was teaching. That’s when Sandy opened her Bible and clarified the confusion straight from the Word of God. The lady was so thankful that she invited them to come back. They did, and together around a table, they are now opening the Bible and allowing it to speak for itself.

A few days ago, just like in Indianapolis, a group of us went into the suburbs of the city of Beirut in Lebanon. There was some fear and trepidation because this city is made up of people who are committed to their family’s religion. But where God leads, He opens doors. And He amazingly did that for us. Two of our volunteers found a woman who told them that she’s been recently reading the Bible but having a hard time understanding it. My two friends eagerly gave her the first study of a series that they explained would help her understand the Bible. She was so happy. They were at her house at the right time.

Even though I don’t speak any Arabic, I joined two other volunteers to go where God would lead us. As we approached a busy apartment building, we ran into a lady who was buzzing someone at the door. My Lebanese friend started conversing with her. She gladly interacted with him. Even when her family joined her downstairs she was in no rush to end the conversation. When we offered her the Bible study lesson, she took it with a smile and was open to another lesson in a week. As we parted, we remarked that if we had arrived at the apartment a minute or two later we would have missed this family altogether. God’s timing. After just two days of going into the community like this, 50 homes are open for a return visit. Isn’t that awesome?!

Keep praying for It Is Written and our faithful volunteers who go into the highways and byways to find people for Jesus. Millions and billions are searching for something better in life, and we have what they are looking for: Jesus.

The city skyline of Beirut, Lebanon.

Best-kept Secret: ReCharge!

Evangelism is the very front line of Christian warfare. That’s where amazing victories are secured but also where bitter defeats are endured because the devil does push back. And all can be at a significant emotional toll for all those involved in soul-winning. That’s why in 2018, It Is Written inaugurated ReCharge, an annual evangelism retreat, designed specifically for those in the thick of the battle for lost souls. It is a time to recharge and then to go back out, invigorated to charge on for the Lord.

Our most recent ReCharge took place December 15-17, 2019 and included church leaders, pastors, and members from 16 conferences. At the serene Cohutta Springs Conference Center near Dalton, Georgia, the group was inspired by the timely presentations of Bill McClendon, Alan Parker, and Eric Flickinger, all veteran evangelists, as they focused on church revitalization through evangelism. However, the best part about the time together was the fellowship, a time of sharing and encouragement. 

One of the pastors in attendance shared a little bit about his journey in evangelism. He opened up about the struggles he faced leading his church from complacency to church growth. Everybody felt and related to the raw emotion. What he was going through was exactly what so many others present were going through as well. When he was done, the group paused and prayed for divine intervention. It was a powerful moment. 

The three days went by way too quickly. Everybody departed energized to start a new year, 2020, with God’s wind in their sails. The departing comments were encouraging. One attendee said in reference to the experience, “It recharged me with renewed energy to keep going and not give up.” Another person shared that “the combination of specific leadership and personal experiences helped me greatly to incorporate the learning into my own situations. I loved sharing some of my story and praying with others.” Another person put it like this: “I’m so happy I took the time to come. This must be one of the best-kept training event secrets.”

It Is Written is already planning for the next ReCharge retreat at the end of the year, December 13-15. We pray for an even larger group to be present and that ReCharge will no longer be a best-kept secret. Jesus is coming soon and more than ever we need to fulfill the Great Commission entrusted to us. View photos of the event below.

Goals for the New Year

Many people make resolutions at the beginning of a new year. They firmly commit or recommit to a course of action or goal.

Science indicates that goal setting increases our Systolic Blood Pressure, pushing more blood to our brains and bodies, ensuring that we have what is needed to think and carry through with our plans.¹

Additionally, the brain’s Reticular Activating System (RAS) is activated as we write out goals.¹ The RAS helps our brains focus on the things in our environment that are associated with achieving the goal. For instance, if one starts thinking about starting a family, they will take note of couples who have children. What they say, what they do, everything about couples and kids, simply because they set that goal.

And as we behold, we are changed in ways that help us meet the goals that we set before us.

No wonder the prophet Habakkuk was instructed by the Lord to “write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end–it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay” (Habakkuk 2:2,3 ESV).

Setting of goals in this case was not only to benefit Habakkuk. It would also benefit many others. It would help those who read the goals to know how to “run,” and to persevere in the accomplishing of the goal.

Years ago a specialist in goal setting coined an acronym that has been useful to many as they set goals. For a goal to be effective, it must be S-M-A-R-T. Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound.

Let’s briefly consider each of these suggestions.

S – Specific
Goals are most helpful when they have a particular area of focus. Seneca, the Roman philosopher, once said, “He who is everywhere is nowhere.” We need focus if we are to accomplish things. The Apostle Paul understood the concept when speaking of the fight of life. He said, “I do not run without a goal. I fight like a boxer who is hitting something–not just the air” (1 Corinthians 9:26 NCV).

M – Measurable
If you run a race, you need to know when you have reached the finish line. Likewise, if you are attempting to improve your health, another common goal, it is important to know your numbers.Your goals should be measurable–try setting an amount of time you will work on them each week or a number of items you will complete by a certain date. Luke 14:28 says, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it?” Before you start your new resolutions, make sure you have a metric in place to check your progress.

A – Attainable
Setting goals that are unattainable can lead to anxiety and frustration. We need goals that push us but goals that are also believable. Both science and Scripture indicate that many times, more is possible than we ever thought. Science documents that our brain cells (neurons) can actually change more than people initially would believe. And Scripture indicates that we can “do all things through Christ who strengthens us” (Philippians 4:13).

R – Relevant
Goals need to line up with what we believe to be true and accurate. Research indicates that when this happens, we are much more likely to find long-term success. Scripture reminds us that “unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it” (Psalm 127:1). In other words, make sure your goals match with God’s, and you will avoid frustration and find ultimate fulfillment. Why? Because “the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations” (Psalm 33:11 NIV).

T – Time bound
Goals need to have definite end points, or deadlines. These help focus our attention and keep us moving toward the objectives that define success. Without this, people lack a sense of urgency and forward movement. Jesus illustrated this by His dialogue about a tree that was not bearing fruit (Luke 13:6-9). The man in the parable noted the tree’s lack of fruitfulness and gave it one year to become fruitful.

Remember, God has plans and goals for your life! He says:
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11 KJV, emphasis added).

God’s plans are based on His thoughts. The very thoughts He thinks toward you! Isn’t it wonderful to know that He is specifically interested in you?

But there is more good news. Amos 4:13 says, “For behold, He who forms mountains, and creates the wind, who declares to man what his thought is.”

And how does he do this? Through His Word! That’s why It Is Written continues to focus on the Word of God. I want to encourage you to read God’s word, meditate on His word and share His word, because in it we find His plans for our lives and His plans for the entire world.

In this new year, join us in resolving to:

-Read and meditate on God’s Word.

-Talk with those who read God’s Word.

-Pray that God will reveal His plans for your life.

As we pursue God, we will discover His plans for our lives, and we can claim the marvelous promise of 1 Thessalonians 5:24: “He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.”

God will not only reveal His plans, but He also takes responsibility for accomplishing them in your life!


¹https://positivepsychology.com/goal-setting-psychology/