Just a super quick post to wish all my readers Happy New Year. Whatever 2013 holds for you, I pray that you’ll know an abundance of God’s all-sufficient grace. As we glance over your shoulder at the past year and look forward to the year ahead, here’s 3 things for us to consider:
1. Consider Your Ways
“thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways.” (Haggai 1 v 5)
Take a long hard look at yourself and be brutally honest – where are you REALLY at? In your relationships, your vocation, your habits, your thought life, your devotional life, your church, your community? What about your dreams, your standards, your aspirations, your failures, your regrets, your triumphs, your tragedies? What went well for you this year? What do you need to tweak, fix, overhaul or get rid of? What prayers has God answered for you? What has God done for you? What have you done for God?
If we fail to consider our ways we will never change and are doomed to continue on the same trajectory – making the same mistakes, stumbling over the same obstacles, defined by the same besetting sins. That doesn’t appeal to me and it shouldn’t appeal to you! I want more of God. More of His grace. More of His purpose. I want to know the pleasure of His smile over my life. This year I want my “ways” to be more holy and a greater witness to the glory of God than they were last year!
What about you?
2. Consider One Another
“let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works” (Hebrews 10 v 24
It’s very easy at New Year’s to take a good look at oneself but not to look much further. As we begin a new year can I encourage you to consider how you can be a blessing to others. How you can stir up, provoke and inspire your brothers and sisters to grow in grace and excel in service and maximise their role in the great adventure of Christian faith. Who can you come alongside as a Barnabus? Who can you disciple like a Timothy? Who are the Pauls (godly leaders and role models) you can honour and support?
Make 2013 a year of gospel provocation!
3. Consider Him
“Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.” (Hebrews 12 v 3)
Finally, both of those previous considerations will matter little if you don’t ultimately consider the One who it’s all about! Whether you’re stepping into this new year exhausted, with a wounded spirit and a heavy heart, or exhilarated with a fist-full of faith and spring in your step, you would do well to keep Christ crucified at the heart of all you do! The cross is our example of sacrificial service and the source of our forgiveness and healing. Furthermore, it reminds us that we have a Great High Priest who has felt our pain, who can sympathise with our weaknesses and therefore whatever we will face this year – He has more than enough grace available for us. A cross-shaped, Christ-centred life will guard us against burn out and also commend the gospel to the a graceless world.
Consider your ways.
Happy new year guys!