Good morning:

What’s on your bucket list? What would you like to see or do before your time on earth ends? Or for that matter, what would you like to see happen in the new year? A bucket list might include a trip to Europe, skydiving, buying that dream home, or learning to play a musical instrument. Maybe you have things like exercising, spending more time with family, or taking up a hobby on your list for 2018. The more we think about it, the longer our own bucket lists will grow.

But really, there is only one thing absolutely essential to a happy, fulfilled life. It has nothing to do with money or possessions or life “experiences.” Jesus says, “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?” (Matt. 16:26). Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matt. 6:19-20). St. Paul wrote: “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Phil. 3:8).

To know Jesus as the Word who became flesh to save us from sin and death is priceless! It gives us peace with God, for Jesus came to be what we could never be. He is our righteousness before God. He reconciled us to God by taking our punishment upon Himself. He takes the fear and uncertainty out of life. By faith in Him, we have everything we need for today and forever.

It makes deciding on a bucket list easy. “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matt. 6:33). Looking ahead to a new year, let’s put the Lord and His Word first on the list. Now is a great time to map out for yourself a personal Bible reading plan. There are numerous plans online which will take you through the entire Bible in the next year. Set aside a special time each day for the Lord, both to read His Word and to speak to Him in prayer. Look forward to time around the Word in church with fellow believers. If you’re not already involved, think about going more in-depth with your study in one of our Bible classes. Then no matter what else we may see or do, our time in 2018 will have been well spent.

Tomorrow’s sermon text introduces us to a man named Simeon. He had only one thing on his bucket list: To see the Lord’s Christ. May the Lord grant us the same blessing!

Yours in Christ,


We’ll follow our usual Sunday morning schedule, including Sunday School and Bible class at their normal times.
Our New Year’s Eve service begins at 7 p.m. The Lord’s Supper will also be celebrated.

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