In the first few days of this new year you and I must set the pace for our year with some critical decisions. This new year has potential to radically change our lives and the lives of others around us for all of eternity! The opportunities for serving others, sharing and showing the Gospel and intentionally joining God in His efforts to reach the world are exciting. So, start this year off RIGHT and choose!
Choose to REFRESH your commitment to His calling on your life. Each day we live out our lives in the middle of many other issues and stressors that demand our attention. The daily grind of life sometimes distracts us from the real eternal matters at hand. Over time the "worries of this world, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desire for other things," spoken of in the parable of the sower (Luke 8, Matt. 13, Mark4) demand more and more of us to the point that we are no longer focused on the Kingdom things that once drove us with passion. This January, as the new year gets rolling, take some time to reflect on His grace and mercy in your life as well as His blessings and gifts. Think through the ways He has brought you through so much over the past few years. Consider how the Lord has provided for you time and time again. Take some time to REFRESH your commitment to the things that really matter. Re-commit to His calling to reach this world with His Holy truth and His Gospel.
Choose to INVEST your time in the Kingdom projects and people God has brought into your path. Henry Blackaby shared in Experiencing God that God Himself invites us to join Him in His work. He is always at work around us and by joining His work, we join a Kingdom work that is far bigger and more powerful than anything we could ever dream of doing on our own! Take the time to seek out His plans and His purposes and then INVEST your time, resources and life into these Kingdom things. Choose to give yourself to the things that matter for eternity. Intentionally place yourself in the paths that lead to His ways and His purposes being made known among all peoples.
Choose to GO this year! The place that God is at work may surprise you. He is working all the time all around you. His calling on your life is to show and share the Gospel in every occasion of life. This new year will you commit to pursue Him in every place He leads you and then obey His Word in each of those occasions? Going to the neighbor's house to lend a helping hand. Going to the church to teach young people the Word. Going across town to tutor a young person struggling with math who has no father at home to support and encourage their potential to flourish. Going to the little church high on the western plains to teach truth and show His love by feeding hungry people. Going to the foreign context to support missionaries who have given up comfort and safety for the sake of His great name! Whether it is near or far or anywhere in the middle, going this year to show and share the love of God is what He has called us all to do!
Choose this year to HELP those around you. God has placed you in a community of people who have needs every day. Those we work with and live life with each day have needs. Those we run across during the daily lives of our children's extra curricular events have needs. The people we live life with whose faith and family are very close to ours have needs. The list goes on and on. The Lord has filled our worlds with people all around us who have needs. This year focus on helping those around you. Pour into the lives of those whose paths cross yours and serve them. Carry some meals to families in the midst of struggle or crisis. Share coffee with friends to hear and help carry their burdens. Serve those around you who have traumatic events unfold within their lives and need care and comfort though the rough days that follow. Whatever the need, God has gifted, blessed and prepared you and me to show the love of God and share the truth of His Word with those all around us who are in need!
Choose this year to TRUST. Trust in the sovereignty of God to guide the steps each day that direct and move each of us closer to Him. Each day the Father is orchestrating events and paths and circumstances all around us to mold and shape our lives to be more like His heart. The Lord is actively proving His love for you each day through His blessings and His provisions. This year will you TRUST his heart and allow Him to take you to a place of faith and obedience that you have never been! This can be a year for you and me to TRUST him with everything, even those things we've held back for quite some time. You and I know the faithfulness of the Father as He has proven Himself trustworthy over and over again. Now, let us live out that faith daily before a world in desperate need of seeing our faith through our works of obedience. Let us accept the challenge of the Scriptures to take up our cross daily and follow Him in every area of our lives!
So, will you start this new year off RIGHT? Will you REFRESH your commitment, INVEST your time and resources, GO to serve and share, HELP those around you and TRUST His heart? It is time we as the Body of Christ act like the redeemed Bride we are through His blood and show His love and share His grace. It is now that He has called us to let go of the selfish ambitions and grasp hold with both hands to the cross on our shoulder. We need to walk boldly into the fields that are white unto harvest and work until He comes to get us or until another comes along to help us! Let us look both directions to our elders for wisdom and an example and to our children for the motivation to press on faithfully. Join me this year in seeking to live out faith as if every fiber of our beings is dependent on our faithfulness to His calling to REACH the world and TEACH His Word!
In His Grip,