The Coming New Year

Well we have managed to get past Christmas and are now heading into a brand new year. So, my thoughts turn to the future and what it is that the Lord would want me to focus on in 2021. Oh, I set personal goals in many areas of my life … financial, relational, friendships, spiritual, family, personal growth and development, and on the list goes. But, before any of that is examined and goals set I first want to know what the Lord has for me to be doing – my involvement with Him in 2021. Once that is settled and agreed to then I can fill in the other areas of my personal life.

Of course, whatever the Lord calls me to focus on is first founded upon the call that is on every disciple’s life. That is to “follow Him” (Matthew 4:19). Our task is to walk closely with Jesus in a personal love relationship. This is a daily walk. And, as we walk with Him we will find Him bringing changes to the way we think, what we believe, and how we live. These changes are part of the process of Him “making us into fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). This is the foundational call on every believer’s life. 

So, I am focusing on building a deeper relationship with the Lord than I have experienced in 2020. Every year I work to do more than stay in touch with the Lord. I work at changing whatever needs to change to deepen my relationship so as to know His heart better and to hear His voice more clearly. Often this means changing routines, adding something after removing something. I try not to get hung up in the structure as it can and does change … different time, different version of the Bible, different place, different approach to prayer, different way of reading and studying the Bible. Everything is up for grabs as these are all just tools to get to know Jesus better. Sometimes we see them as rules – read 3 chapters a day, pray for an hour… But really they are simply tools to build a better and deeper relationship with the Lord. 

Then the second thing I focus on is evangelism or sharing God’s love with others. I first examine the track record from the current year and see what apparently worked or didn’t work. Again, the methods are not sacred, just the message. So, I look at the methods I have used and fine tune some while tossing others and adding new ideas. Then I have a look at what I should be doing to become more effective and even more efficient in this task of winning the lost. This is the mandate of the Church and we are the church. So, everyone of us is called to “seek and save the lost” as Jesus did (Luke 19:10). He expressed it in Matthew 28:18-20 when He said, “Go into al the world and make disciples.”

Only then do I then concentrate on what He has called me to do for Him. I look at my apostolic ministry and see what changes need to be made. Some changes and adjustments are made because of the leading of the Lord. Others simply because society has changed and adjustments need to be made so as to continue to influence and impact the culture. This is much more than the message and how it is presented. It involves the upcoming changes the Lord is making in His Church worldwide and my role in announcing and implementing those changes. After all, this is foundational to the Church that Jesus is building (Ephesians 2:20 and 4:11-15).

So, it is a week of looking back, forward, up and inward as I prepare for 2021. 

If you feel like sharing what you do to prepare for your New Year of life … please comment.