Happy New Year!
I just want to wish everyone a loving, faithful, plentiful, kind, and abundant new year!
As many of you know, my dad is a pastor in the AME church. This is my summary of his New Years Day sermon for 2012 which really spoke to me and is my mantra for the year 2012. I want to share it with you so that it might put you in the right frame of mind for this coming year!
Setting our priorities: This one thing I do!
“Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Beloved, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:12-14 NASB).”
This is a new year. We should assess the gifts of a new year in order to pursue the right goals and the right direction.
How do we do this?
Well, we should understand time and there are standards or tools to available. It is important in a new year because time is a great commodity. We need each year to be as loving, faithful, plentiful, kind, and abundant as possible so that our lives are as loving, faithful, plentiful, kind, and abundant as possible. To say it in a different way, to waste away a year is to waste our lives. Therefore, we should set out to understand time as an asset of this new year.
There are three points to understand how we should use time in the new year:
Point Number 1: Time is Uncertain!
Time is swift and in shortage. Moreover, because it is a commodity, the price is always up. Time is precious.
So if you’re doctor said you only had a year to live, life would become even more valuable. In this view, the value you would put on life would go up.
As Paul says I press on to make it my own home. My time is mine to use. Yet, I should use it wisely and the wise thing to do is to use it now! Behold now is the acceptable time… time for salvation. Since time is swift, short, and precious, we must seek salvation now. We must decide and seek God now because time is too valuable to wait.
For instance, I’m not going to waste my time thinking about what, can, and should be done… I’m going to do it! I’m not going to waste time talking about it… I’m going to talk and act simultaneously now to conserve my time!
Point Number 2: Don’t be in bondage of the past year!
Only humanity can be affected by the past, present, and future. This is dangerous because of the implications of the past, present, and future on our lives.
For Paul, he understood that this one thing that I do… is now! Paul had a past but he wouldn’t be held bondage by his past sins. So don’t be enslaved to your past because Jesus has forgiven us and has given us new power.
Only God can manage our past and future. Many things in our past has wounded and guilt us. Yet, we should try to heal and seek reconciliation for the future. Our prayer should be Lord help me to know that you can carry the load of the burden of last year.
Point Number 3: The future poses a hazard!
We can be enslaved to fear and anxiety. We can be crippled by our imaginations. Even more true, there are realities that are grim. The challenge is not to be enslaved by fear.
Paul shows us in the scripture that Christ has made us his own. Jesus saw all of the anxieties and told us don’t worry about tomorrow. Don’t be irresponsible and amble but we can’t be paralyzed by the dread of the future. Each day has it’s own troubles.
We need to be concerned with living well today and trusting in God. Being in touch today, keeps us in touch with tomorrow. So to be in touch, we won’t lose sight of what’s important for the future. Trust God today. His eye is on the sparrow then it’s surely on us.
In the scripture, Paul clearly states this one thing I do… is let Jesus guide his priorities. By declaring this one thing I do, this year, is a gift from a loving God. God is with us… Emmanuel!
This one thing I do… is to trust my time, past and future, to God. God has promised to be with us and I press on in this knowledge.
P.S. For this new year be mindful of how and what you do with your precious time! Declare this one thing I do!