Ready or not here we go…another year down another one begins. What will 2017 hold?
If it is anything like 2016 it will hold all of that and so much more. It will hold first’s and last’s; news and olds; sorrows and rejoicings. Let me remind you…I know it’s cliche but I love it anyway…we don’t know what the future holds but we know who holds the future.
Some people will find a renewed strength in walking with the Lord this year and others, as much as I hate to say it, will move further away from Him. They will move away NOT because that is what God wants but because that is what they will choose. Excuses will be offered…justifications given but regardless some will, as Hebrews 2 says…drift away from what they heard [believed] about Jesus. How will you make sure that is NOT you?
Let me offer a few suggestions…
1. Get HELP. I want to suggest to you that you were not made to do life alone! There was only one thing NOT good in the garden of Eden when God created the world…Adam was alone. Now, I am not suggesting you need to go and marry the first person you see if you are not already in a covenant relationship with someone…but I am saying you need to surround yourself with people who can help you grow in your faith. I want to encourage you to intentionally seek out those relationships in your life. Look around…are you impressed with someone who has a great understanding of Scripture…latch on (no stalking or creepy stuff) but ask to spend some time with that person. Ask them how they got to where they are..ask for help! Need help being a better husband or wife? Find someone who has a great marriage and ask for help. Ask them how they do it? Put yourself out there and ask for HELP.
2. HELP others. Love God, love people…serve both. I don’t know who came up with that but I like it. You are not going to be able to help EVERYONE but you can help ONE! If you want to make sure that you don’t drift away from Jesus…help someone else grow in their faith. Just as you can see people who seem to be doing well in some areas of life…it is also not hard to see people who are struggling. Typically, we don’t invest ourselves in those kind of relationships…we RUN from them…but let 2017 be DIFFERENT. Remember, no one was created to do life alone. Even people who may seem a little strange, or weird, or down right crazy! Strategically invest in people who are in need. If you see a marriage struggling…point them to help…pray for them…invest!!! If you see a new follower of Jesus Christ who can use some of the tools you have acquired over the years that have helped you in your walk with the Lord then sit down with them…tell them about what has worked for you.
3. Don’t forget the HELPER. Jesus told us that it was to our advantage that he left the world (I know that is hard to believe but it’s true)…because when he left he was going to send the HELPER…the HOLY SPIRIT to be with us FOREVER. When Jesus left the world we didn’t get less of Jesus…we got even more of God in the form of his Spirit! For most of my life I have tried to do life in my own power…I have tried harder and harder with each failure (and there have been many). Nothing wrong with trying hard…but God has given us His Spirit because he has more in store for our lives than these sin infected bodies can accomplish on their own. We will NEVER find out what that is if we keep doing life on our own. Walk in the Spirit…grow in the Spirit…don’t quench the Spirit!
There is my short list! Get help, help others…and most of all don’t forget the HELPER. Do those things and I have no doubt that 2017 will be AMAZING. May the Lord bless and keep you and make his face smile upon you!