A new year has begun. Time to reflect on the past year, has helped me identify the things I’ll continue in 2013, and recognize the things I need to eliminate. Each new beginning offers an opportunity to focus on what really matters:
Keeping Him first.
This is a daily challenge for me. When I think about who He is, I’m humbled.
“For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the people are idols: but the Lord made the heavens,” (1 Chronicles 16:25-26; KJV).
He is the Creator. I am His creation.
My to-do list doesn’t end, and it’s easy to plunge into the day with my plans in place. It’s when I take time to talk to God and identify His will for the day that I’m able to accomplish the most.
His Word reminds me: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths,” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Developing quality relationships and serving others.
I have to admit, I’m selfish. I typically think of my needs first. God’s Word points out a better way – I’m to put others ahead of myself. In the book of Philippians Paul writes: “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves,” (2:3).
Taking the attitude of a servant goes a long way toward pointing others to Christ. “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,” (Galatians 5:13-14).
Doing what He’s given me to do one step at a time.
God has a plan for my life. It’s up to me to use the abilities He’s given me, and rely on His strength to help me accomplish that plan. He won’t force me to fulfill His plan, but He’s given me the incredible opportunity to partner with Him in something that will bring Him glory. It’s His hope that I’ll join Him to fulfill His will for my life: “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling . . .” (Ephesians 1:18).
The Lord shares a marvelous promise: “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass,” (Psalm 37:5). And His presence goes with me: “. . . I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee,” (Hebrews 13:5b)
What decisions have you made for 2013? Will you focus on what really matters? Take steps today to put God first, serve others, and fulfill the plan God has for your life.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of a new year. Help me grow in grace and in the knowledge of you every day. I want to put you first today and serve those you’ve brought into my life. Help me fulfill the plan you have for my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
*I'm hosting over at Living by Grace today. Happy New Year!