As we come to the close of another year, one's mind turns to a few things:
· Memories of the past year or years.
· What's in store for next year.
· And resolutions!!
How many of you have broken a New Year's resolutions? There is a quote that says that many good plans die in the land of good intentions. Instead, let's think about finishing strongly this year, and next. You see, it's not too late to finish this year well.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore, keep running.
First, notice that all the runners run, but only one gets the prize. The issue here is not that we win in everything, but that we run to win - run with purpose, not aimlessly. Everyone who competes in life goes into strict training. Those are the ups and downs of life.
Let's look at some specific ways we can go into the New Year running as to get the prize.
First, RE-EVALUATE everything you do for spiritual disciplines. Ask yourself, "WHY do I do this?" Do you do it because you were told to do it, or because you have an honest desire to deepen your relationship with God? Ask yourself, "Why do I do it THIS way?" The way you pray, read through the Bible, do Bible study, etc.?
Secondly, REARRANGE your patterns and habits in these areas. If you have prayed the same way for a number of years (maybe using a certain formula), try something new. If you have been reading through the Bible in a certain fashion, look for other reading programs. If you have not memorized Scripture in a systematic fashion, start!
Thirdly, RENEW your commitment to doing those things that truly expose you to more of His wisdom and love more and more. There is a sense of excitement with starting something new. It can open your heart and mind to new and wonderful things in Scripture you never saw before - and THAT will give you a new glimpse of the Savior - how exciting!!
Lastly, look at how we could finish THIS year well. The main way we can do this is to spend these last weeks in earnest prayer, asking God to show us areas we still need to consecrate to Him. Ask Him to show you specific areas you can reevaluate, rearrange, and renew. If you are serious about strengthening your walk with Him, you can be sure He will answer - because HE wants that even more than you do!