Posted by: mikenicholsblog | January 1, 2010

our journey begins anew

For the first few weeks of January, salads and treadmills become very popular. There is something in all of us that wants to weigh less and look better. Truth be told, it seems like every January we lose the same ten pounds, and give our treadmills a once a year reprieve as a clothes hanger and dust catcher. But alas, this year will be different!

For Christ followers, each January brings the same energy to re-invigorate our spiritual disciplines. We consider plans to increase our giving and service, and our commitment to reading Scripture and praying comes front and center.  Alas, this year will be different!

As January’s desire becomes February’s discipline, your physical and spiritual journey will find new traction. To encourage you to start strong spiritually, let’s take a few minutes to focus on your journey direction.

My assumption is that you are ready to tackle this year with spiritual vigor. As you focus on starting well, remember that the goal is not growing for your, but rather, for His glory. Also, take the challenge to focus on spiritual direction and not perfection. There will be “two steps forward, and three steps backward” days, but discipline will help you through each bend in the journey. You may have dry seasons this year that cause you to wonder, “Is all this spiritual work worth it?”  But from one journey struggler to another, I can tell you it is! When you embrace your weakness, and depend solely on His undeniable strength, you will find spring chutes of growth, even on the most wintery of days.

His Word tells us in Philippians 1:6 …

being confident of this, that he
who began a good work in you
will carry it on to completion
until the day of Christ Jesus.

If you know Christ, this verse is for you!

As you look at your spiritual direction for this year, decide to become more like the “you” that the Father created you to be. In Christ, you are gifted to serve and He wants to use your life to bring maximum glory to himself.  Tell me that this isn’t the most amazing thing you have ever considered!  That the God of the universe would want to use you!

As you begin to consider the “you” of His design, realize His Word, prayer and others all need their proper emphasis.  Each new year starts out with no idea of where the journey will lead in the subsequent 365 days.  But when you go with God, you can lay down worry about the destination.  He will build the “you” of His purpose as you travel along.

Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV)
Jesus replied: “Love the Lord
your God with all your heart and
with all your soul and with all your
mind.” This is the first and greatest
commandment. And the second is
like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

With the love of God as your all-consuming focus, you can be assured your “neighbor” will be showered in love. But the spigot will be dry if it’s well source is anything other than God’s Word, and a relationship nurtured through prayer.

Your journey begins anew today!  Make your purpose, His glory and becoming the “you” of His design. Start well today! Finish strong in 2010!

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