Faith & Insight: The last day of an old year
December 30, 2016
When you look back at this past year, what were the highlights of your year? A new marriage or a new grandchild. A raise at work or a great vacation or weekend getaway? What was the best part of this past year?
In this last year, where did you see the Lord at work in your life and in your church? How did He work in and through you with your neighbors and friends?
Where could there be more? More happiness, more provision, more stability, more health, more healing, more … more of the Lord?
Is spending more time in the Word of God a priority for your life this next year? Is investing more of your time in service for God's glory a goal for you this next year?
If your only desire is to get that promotion or take an extra special vacation or lose some extra weight then you are missing out on what's truly needed to prepare for what's to come. If all you do is worry or fixate on what didn't happen this past year, then you won't be ready to receive what's to come.
Has not 2016 had more than enough loss, more than enough pain, more than enough disappointment? Has not this past year kept you back from your pursuits of growing in intimacy and knowledge of the Lord?
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On this last day of this year, surely you have space to stop and reflect on what was, and what's to come. We all have our victories and defeats. We all have our dreams that were fulfilled and our dreams that were crushed. And, we all need to have a plan for what we can do to seek out more of God in our lives for this next year that will be here shortly.
What can you do now to prepare for more of the Lord in 2017?
First: celebrate what God has done and praise Him more (Philippians 3:1).
Second: make intimacy with God through His word, through prayer and through other spiritual disciplines that grow you in Christlike character your goal, your chief aim (1 Timothy 1:5).
Third: Don't give up when things get hard, but press into God and be open to what He's teaching you in that moment (Philippians 3:14).
Fourth: let your schedule, your spending of time and money, and your commitments be saturated in opportunities that have eternity in mind (John 17:3).
And fifth: be more consumed with advancing the Gospel Message of God's heart to redeem and restore those not in right relationship with Him, instead of being more known for who you don't like and who you oppose (John 3:36).
Today is the last day of an old year — a year that has lots to celebrate but also probably has a lot you wish to leave behind. Today is the day for you to begin to seek God's heart for what's to come and to plan to invest in things that matter for eternity. And, today you can make a choice that will matter. Make a choice to make pursuing more of God, and more of His truth from the Bible, your choice this year. Make a choice to pray more, to love more, to serve more and live more fully for God's glory.
The old is gone and the new is to come. Are you ready for more?
Nick Emery is the senior pastor at Good Shepherd Wesleyan Church. He can be reached at email@example.com.