Thursday, January 1, 2015
A NEW YEAR AND A NEW FOCUS - RESET FOR 2015
As each new year dawns, I like to reflect back and evaluate my life from the previous year. I generally focus on my failures and weaknesses and determine how I can do better. I see the new year as a reset button of sorts where I get to start fresh and make new goals and aspirations. Because we make such a big deal about the turning of the new year, it naturally becomes a time of evaluation and self inspection for many. I am reminded of the scripture passage, "His mercies are new every morning..." Just as the dawning on a each day gives us new opportunities to get it right, so too, with the dawning of a new year, we tend to think in these terms but on a grander scale.
Last year I determined to live a holier life and read at least 2 books per month. To some degree I accomplished the first goal, but not any where near as well as I could have or should have. You never realize how far you are from God's standard until you begin trying to move toward it. I have much more work to do in 2015. On my second goal, I blew it out of the water with over 30 books read. I hope to increase my goal to 3 books per month this year.
This year, my main focus will be different than any other, this year, I am going to pursue God and his calling on my life. Yesterday, I was listening to a message by John MacArthur and was strongly convicted. I gained from his message that the primary purpose of the believer is to live a life in pursuit of God's holiness and purpose. I thought about that and what it meant to me, specifically, and realized that my focus and calling is discipleship.
As it so happens, I found myself in the privileged position of being able to come alongside a brother in the Lord and begin a study with him on the book of James. This study has prompted me to develop a discipleship program which kicks off on January 12. I, along with the men who will be joining the group, am looking forward to what God will be doing in our lives.
What I realized from John MacArthur is that this discipleship program should be the main focus of my life for the coming year. My goal this year is to develop a dynamic discipleship program that will have real impact on the lives of those who participate in it and can be replicated by anyone who completes the program. My goal is not to create followers for myself, but to equip others for works of service unto Christ. After 6 months, each participant should be able to lead their own group. This is what I believe God intended for the church, from the beginning and what I believe Paul was doing with guys like Timothy and Titus.
I would like to encourage you to set a spiritual goal for 2015, you will be amazed at what God can and will do with you and through you if you allow Him!