Are you ready for 2018? I sure am. One funny note about this next year is that it is the 30th anniversary of my High School graduation. Wow, I could not have imagined 30 years ago what the world, and my world, would have looked like today. Time sure does fly. How can we move into 2018 with more purpose? We certainly need to celebrate the glory from 2017. One big victory for me is the accomplishment of purposely setting my heart to writing the book, Confessions of a Preacher, and completing it. The book is now in the hands of a literary agent who is presenting it to publishers this week.
Were there down sides to 2017? There sure were. But with those, the best advice is to simply admit the bad and then bury it. Maybe it’s a mistake or blatant sin on our part. If so, then we need to own it, confess it, and then receive God’s grace on the matter. If the bad was a wrong done to us, then we also need to call it what it was. While doing so, we need to accept God’s healing and at the same time release ourselves from bitterness toward that person or situation. Failing to forgive and release will drag us down in years to come.
In looking at a new year, I have often taken a few days in late December or early January for reflection. Usually this is a good time to review a spiritual journal from the past year, read through sections of the Bible, and just try to listen for God’s voice. When I’ve done this I’ve found it easier to organize and create a direction for the upcoming 12 months.
During this thought process, I’ve often walked through an expanded list of questions, such as the ones below that I got from a guy named Bob Roberts. Bob is an older preacher and church planter who has been around the block a lot longer than I have. Finally, after a season of praying and reflecting, I’ll then take the major points from God’s Word, lessons learned over the past year, answers from the questions below, and council from trusted friends to develop a plan in going forward.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve found that my problem at times is not finding things to do, but being focused enough to do purposeful things. We have plenty of business in our society, but not a whole lot of solid or eternal direction. So let me challenge you to take some serious down time somewhere over the next few days to be still. Be still before God and ask Him to teach you something from the past and rightly point you to the future. You won’t regret it.
- What has God called me to be / do?
- Do I know why I’m doing what I’m doing?
- What is it that I bring to the table?
- What are my greatest strengths?
- What are my greatest weaknesses?
- How am I organized?
- How is my team organized?
- What are two or three things that I could do which would bring an increase this next year?
- What are some of my biggest obstacles and how can they be turned into opportunities?
- What excites me most?
- Do my beliefs match my actions?
- What are two or three changes that I could make which would be most pleasing to God?
What would you add?