Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Reflecting Back for Future Growth

Phil. 3:13-14  No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.

As we look at this past year and think about where we have been, what we have done, our ups and downs, and our spiritual journeys, I want us to pause for a few moments and consider how we are different today than we were last year at this time.  Are you a better person today than you were a year ago at this time?  If so, in what ways?  Can you point to specific areas in your life that are better than they were a year ago? 

We need to continue to grow through our experiences.  We need to be able to see definite improvements in our faith walk.  We should be more consistent and diligent in our Bible readings.  We should be more comfortable and faithful in prayer.  We need to be doing a better job of living out our faith.  We need to be more comfortable in being identified as Christians in the world. 

As we face the New Year the one thing we all should be doing is to forget this past year and press forward into the new one.  If we are not any better off now than we were a year ago, forget it and resolve today to change.  Resolve to let the Spirit take control of your will so that you will be more disciplined in your faith.  Resolve to put forth your best effort to grow your faith.  Make a daily commitment to do something to strengthen and grow your faith.  Resolve not to give up the effort if you falter.  There is no excuse for not trying.  The reward for your efforts is that you will know our Lord in a deeper and more satisfying way than you ever thought possible.

If you are better today than you were a year ago, way to go!  Don’t slack off this New Year.  Continue to work hard at being the best you can be in Christ.  Let the Spirit have more and more control over you.  Stay the course of your life.  Keep putting forth your best effort to know the Lord and serve Him.  The strides you have made won’t mean much if you don’t build on them. 

Expect challenges to your faith this coming year; they are going to come.  He who faces them boldly under the lordship of Christ will live in victory.  With Jesus as Lord, this will be the best year of your life, no matter what circumstances of life await you.

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