1. It hardly seems possible, but today is the final Lord's Day of 2015. 2. Since this is the case, we are studying a number of passages that have something in common -- they all begin with "Finally." 3. These passages contain some important instructions that we must practice as we look forward to beginning 2016. 4. Let us begin with . . .
I. 2 CORINTHIANS 13:11
A. In this verse Paul was bidding "farewell" to the Christians in Corinth. B. As he concluded his letter he gave 4 admonitions, including: 1. to "be perfect [complete]" (2 Timothy 3:16-17) 2. to "be of good comfort" (2 Corinthians 1:3-4a) 3. to "be of one mind" (1 Corinthians 1:10) 4. to "live in peace" (Romans 12:18). C. A special blessing is in store for those who practice these instructions -- "the God of love and peace shall be with you."
II. EPHESIANS 6:10
A. This verse teaches Christians to "be strong in the Lord." B. Vs.12 explains why we must be strong in the Lord. C. According to vs.11 & 13, to be strong in the Lord we must put on "the whole armor of God." D. The various items of the armor of God are listed in vs.14-17.
III. PHILIPPIANS 3:1
A. This verse teaches Christians to "rejoice in the Lord." B. An even stronger appeal is made in 4:4. C. The hope mentioned in 3:20-21 should help us to maintain our joy.
IV. PHILIPPIANS 4:8
A. This verse teaches Christians to think on the right things. B. In Proverbs 23:7 Solomon showed why we must think properly. C. We are to think on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and worthy of praise. D. Vs.9 reveals a special blessing that is in store for those who think properly.
V. 2 THESSALONIANS 3:1-2
A. These verses teach Christians to pray (see 1 Thessalonians 5:17). B. Specifically, Paul asked these Christians to pray for him and his co-workers. C. Paul asked them to pray that: 1. the Lord's Word would have "free course" 2. he and his co-workers would be delivered from "unreasonable and wicked men."
VI. 1 PETER 3:8-9
A. These verses teach Christians to: 1. be "all of one mind" 2. have "compassion one of another" 3. "love as brethren" 4. "be pitiful" 5. "be courteous" 6. avoid retaliation. B. Vs.9b touches on 2 reasons why we must practice these instructions. 1. We have been "called" for this purpose. 2. Those who do so will "inherit a blessing."
1. We have examined some very important instructions. 2. Finally, let us make a commitment to practice these instructions throughout 2016. 3. If we do these things that the Lord wants us to do, he will bless us in return.