By Tim Lubinus
Before forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead in 2015 (Phil. 3:13) let’s take two looks back at 2014:
- Do you have brokenness in relationships? Among people? Before God? Remember, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Neither take sin lightly nor live in brokenness and guilt without confession and forgiveness before a Holy God. Jesus offers genuine and complete forgiveness as we confess our sin and trust in Him. Before moving forward to 2015, is there anything you need to do before God or man to repair broken relationships?
- Is there anything in 2014 that you haven’t thanked God for? Even difficult times? Remember, we should “rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials so that the genuineness of your faith — more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire — may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:6-7). Gratefulness is an antidote to pride, a foundational sin that isolates us from God and one another.
Moving forward in 2015…
- Moving forward with the theme of gratefulness, also remember to walk with Jesus; trust in Him for each day’s problems, “Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, overflowing with gratitude, (Col. 2:6-7). Any new ways to walk with Him? Do you have concrete plans this year to live in His word and follow Jesus?
- As we walk with Jesus we are motivated to love the people God gives us to serve, “we proclaim Him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. I labor for this, striving with His strength that works powerfully in me, (Col. 1:28-29). Do you have concrete plans to present everyone mature in Christ? Can you list the names of four people that you will specifically invest in to lead to greater maturing in Christ during 2015? Are you seriously laboring for this or just (playing around)? You may want to say this in a more gentle way.
It has been a joy to get started as executive director of the Baptist Convention of Iowa in 2014. I eagerly anticipate working together to reach the people of Iowa for Christ in 2015. We have much to do. Let our first steps be confession, gratefulness, and proclamation of Jesus.