The following is an email I sent out to our church family today - part of a series of posts & emails we've sent out in preparation for Resolution 2014.
This is it. 2013 is rapidly coming to a close and a New Year is here. As a church family, we are going to make the most of this opportunity. As we resolve to spend every day with Jesus - as we seek Him like never before this year - I want to encourage you in a few specific areas and ways that I believe will set you (and us) up for success:
- Have a plan. As we emailed you yesterday about one example (the YouVersion reading plan) and have posted several others on our website, the important thing is to have a plan. For many of us (who find great motivation and normalcy in structure) this can give you direction and even a bit of inspiration. What's your plan?
- Write it down. On one hand, I highly encourage you to WRITE DOWN YOUR GOAL/PLAN. If you already keep a journal, write it down. You can go back and remind yourself of WHAT you committed to and WHY. And on the other hand, if you don't keep a journal - a written record of what you're learning in God's Word, what you are praying about & who you are praying for - make this a priority. I have struggled with this in the past, but when I have taken this step it has been incredibly powerful. And if you're a parent and don't want to do this for yourself, do it for your children or your grandchildren. Keep a journal that you would want them to read 10-. If that doesn't motivate you, nothing will.
- Find a friend. Don't walk this road alone. For several reasons, there is great power in walking this journey with someone else - in a friend (or friends) knowing the goals we've set and encouraging and challenging us to stick to them. There is no greater or more foundational place to find this than in a Missional Community. As the New Year begins, there is no better time or opportunity to find the biblical fellowship and focus that come with living on mission together.
- Live under grace. Over the next 365 days, while our aim is to spend "Every Day With Jesus", that is not our ultimate goal. What we truly aim, hunger, and long for is to KNOW GOD - to know Him more today than ever before. We desperately desire to know Him - His heart, His character, and His will for our lives, our families, and our church. And mark it down: You will mess up. You will have a bad day. A really bad day. You may very well miss a day of Bible reading. You may abandon your journal for weeks. God will not be mad at you or condemn you. This is not a new law for you or me to follow, but a plan to lead us where we desire to be. Live under grace. With yourself and others.
Have a plan. Write it down. Find a friend. Live under grace.
2013 was a great year. 2014 is going to be amazing!
Happy New Year!