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New Year...New You?

Happy New Year! Here’s to self-evaluation. Self-improvement. A healthier me. A happier me. Self…me…Self. Sounds so…consumed. That’s not what we’re supposed to be.

I’ve decided to try something different. Rather than looking inward to focus on me…me…me, I’m looking outward. To what? Jesus! I’m evaluating my Kingdom impact. I’m improving my relationship with Jesus and through that relationship, my love of others. I’m vowing to study deeper. Pray further. Memorize more. Focus on Him as much as my flesh will allow. I’m going for Jesus-centered! 

You see, when we focus so much on the internal, we miss out on the Mission. You know, the Mission Jesus gave each of us. Ephesians 2:10 reminds us that we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for Good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.

Sounds like a contradiction from above, I know, but let’s walk this thing out. When we focus on our destined Good works, we’re giving attention to what God designed us to do. You see the distinction? We are not only seeking what we can do for ourselves, but we turn that energy to say, “Lord, what would You have me do?” Big difference!

This way of thinking must be deliberate. We must be conscious of our thought processes to ensure they are Kingdom-focused and not me-centered. We were created to make disciples. To spread the Good News. For each of us, that looks somewhat different, but the result is the same––glorifying God! 

Ask yourself, what can I do for others? How can I serve more people? What am I doing for the glory of God? Die to self! Remember what the apostle Paul said in Acts 20:24: However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me––the task of testifying to the Good News of God’s Grace. 

We are called to live contrary to the world, to be in the world, but not of the world. So, in this time of self, self, and more self, look outward. I’m not suggesting that we should neglect ourselves, our families, or our responsibilities whatsoever. I’m signaling a switch. Put more effort into the calling God gave you: The Great Commission. 

My word for the year is courage. Courage to stand up for Christ in a world trying to push Him out. Courage to speak the Truth. Courage to love the way He loves. Courage to share His love with this dark world. Courage to stand out and love all races, all political parties, and yes, even those of other religions. Jesus didn’t shy away from any of that, and I pray to have the courage to do the same.

What is your word for the year? Not only for you, but for Him.  

Finish the race. Fight the Good Fight! Long to serve Him and hear the best seven words we could hear at the end of this life: Well done, My good and faithful servant!  

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