A New Year, A New You
It is hard to believe as I am writing this that we are less than a week from the New Year. It seems as if 2018 has flown by. At the beginning of the year many of us made Spiritual commitments to grow and improve. Part of this included a daily Bible reading plan to get us through the entire New Testament in a year. If you made this commitment, how did you do? I’ll share that some weeks I got so busy that instead of reading one chapter a day I had to read all 5 weekly chapters on a Saturday. Though I study the Bible daily as a preacher, it was harder than I thought to fit in an organized program like this. However I am glad I did the program and plan to do it again next year. It is my belief that if you don’t challenge yourself to grow, you likely never will.
Paul agreed with the sentiment as he wrote his final letter to Timothy. He wrote, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). He instructed Timothy to have great discipline as he worked for God. Though we usually think of the word “discipline” as a negative punishment, it is more appropriate to think of this in terms of a subject of study. When someone focuses on a discipline (medicine, engineering, etc.) they take many classes in it and (hopefully) diligently apply themselves to the study. In fact I don’t want to ask an undisciplined doctor for advice and I don’t want to drive on a bridge designed by an undisciplined engineer. Have you gotten you spiritual “major” in God’s things? How hard do you work at your faith? Do you put in sincere effort to prayer, study, self-improvement, and growth? If I’m honest I have a lot of room to grow!
As we enter a new year let me implore you to think hard about how you want to grow this year. Do you want to be better at study? Then make a plan and make the time. Do you want to be better at prayer? Say more prayers and study those in the Bible who were good at it. Do you want to be more hospitable, kind, or generous? Make intentional plans to do it. If you don’t make specific plans you may find that another year has passed without any growth. This is not acceptable to God (Heb. 5:11-14). God has every right to expect growth. He did create us and then recreate us through His Son. Let’s work together as a church to make this a year of growth and success to the glory of God.