Posted by: mikenicholsblog | December 30, 2010

back to the future

Looking back at another year can easily cause a myriad of emotions (good and bad), countered by the excitement of a new day coming. There have been years for my wife and I where 12:00 a.m. on January 1st couldn’t come quickly enough. At other times, it was just the beginning of yet another year. As I was thinking this week about crossing into next year, Back to the Future has been ringing in my ears. You may remember those words as the title of an old movie that featured Michael J. Fox. It seems to me that if we are not careful, each New Year begins to look very similar to the one just completed. But in my relationship with God, going Back to the Future is not appealing. I want a deeper relationship filled with new growth and effectiveness. What about you?

As I finish reading the Old Testament this week, one theme seemed consistent to me … The Israelites continually made wrong choices. God showed remarkable grace, mercy and patience, but they repeatedly turned their back on His blessings. They kept going Back to the Future. To be perfectly candid, each of us has some Israelite struggles. We have seen and been blessed by God’s grace, mercy and patience, but there are some areas of weakness and sin that each year frustrate us as we go Back to the Future. Take heart, a new day is upon us, and I believe the New Year can be different. Do you think that God cares about your struggles? Of course He does!

My final challenge of 2010 will not involve telling you how to conquer all of your struggles as you begin the New Year. I don’t even know what they are. It is my purpose to implore you to seek God with new zeal. He wants this to be a year of growth and spiritual effectiveness. Just think: God cares deeply about your personal issues, and is willing to guide you into the Future. Just this morning, I read some words from The PAPA Prayer, by Larry Crabb that will be my challenge to both you and me for the New Year.

Do you know God well enough to enjoy His company, the same way you enjoy being with a family member or close friend?

Do you want to know God better and enjoy Him more than you know and enjoy anyone else?

Do you connect with God in such a way that enables you to hear His voice and to know He’s right there with you?

Bold questions to be sure! But now is a starting place from where you are, to where He wants you to be. Don’t go Back to the Future and let the old ways dominate your thinking and life. There is new ground to cultivate. Why not turn the three challenges above into your New Year’s prayer? Hold on to His Word, and seek Him daily…. those challenges can be a reality for you. The Future is now.

Start tomorrow reading through the New Testament with us in a “New Testament Year”

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