Posted in Daily Threads

All Things New

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2019! What are you planning on doing in this year? Is this the year that you will become perfect?? In our dreams, right!?! Haha! Seriously though, a new year gives us a chance to reflect, refocus, and renew, doesn’t it? Isn’t it a wonderful thought that God can make all things new??

Do you do New Year’s Resolutions? So, what are you planning on pursuing or changing this year?

  • weight loss
  • daily exercise
  • organize your house
  • new business goals
  • spiritual growth

What is the most important thing you need to pursue/change in 2019?

2 Corinthians 5:17

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

Does this mean that it is like a new year – a new beginning – a new start when one comes to Christ?

Yes, plus… we will be new and different – born again! Like a newborn baby in a new life…

Verses 18-21 go on to say that God has made a way through Christ for the enmity between us and Him has been taken away and that we are reconciled back to Him. It goes further to say that He has given us the “ministry of reconciliation.” So, since we are so blessed, we are to share the wonderful news with others.

For more on 2 Corinthians 5:17 click here.

But…

He gives us a fresh new slate as far as our relationship with Him. Our record with Him is wiped clean without even a shadow of the old writing left behind. But, he does not always take away the earthly consequences and we can expect to pay the earthly penalties. However, these penalties are minimal compared to spending eternity separated from Him by our sin.

We do get a new spiritual start when we come to Christ and we get to grow in Him and get to know Him better. His plan for us is that we grow more and more like His dear Son, Jesus Christ, who lived a perfect sinless life of service and complete sacrifice. As I am sure you know, this incremental growth is called sanctification.

So… where are you in your sanctification journey?

Of all the things I want to accomplish in this new year, my most intense pursuit should be to grow in the Lord above all else.

Reflect

As I reflect on my past year, the past few months loom in my sight.

Distraction

It is so easy to get distracted and even completely sidetracked from our most important pursuit – Christ and our being like Him. I think I might be the most distractible person I know! I can completely forget what I am doing for no reason at all. When I set my mind to do something, I must continually work to not allow distraction to creep into my brain. Otherwise, all I do is run around in frustrating circles all day long. I am sure it would be entertaining to watch.

The place I am most distracted is in my pursuit of God. If my routine gets interrupted, everything tends to go out the window. So my biggest area to work on in this new year is to not allow myself to be distracted from growing in my knowledge and relationship with God and then doing what He has called me to do with faithfulness and diligence.

Routine

I need routine in my life. It helps me to be productive and more organized in thinking, studying and working. Routine cannot be king but I can use it as a tool to help me.

Organization

Chaos distracts me, probably more than anything else. My workroom is in complete chaos right now – after the holidays. I would be embarrassed if I wasn’t so distracted by it!!!

For this reason, I need to organize my workroom. It is nice to work in an organized area, but more importantly, it is easier for me to be productive in an organized area – in studying, in writing, in everything!

A Plan/Schedule

My new plan is mostly to go back to my old plan. My old plan worked well, I simply stopped following it. I have a pretty rigid schedule layout for my day and when I follow it, my days are almost always very rewarding. This layout begins with my quiet time with God through prayer and Bible reading. We all need daily consistent time with God to grow in our relationships with Him.

If you would like to see my layout, leave a comment.

Refocus

I need to refocus using the above-mentioned plan to help me to be able to focus on what I am to do each day. However, I must be ready for God to throw a wrench in my plan, right? We must be flexible for times when things happen that we must attend to that are not in our plan – a sick friend in need of help with her children or some other way God wants to use us that we have not anticipated.

Generally, I have found that my layout can be followed and my day can be more productive and much more distraction proof.

Renew

Just like the sun coming up over the horizon, we can start fresh. Soon after we wake up, we must at least turn our minds to God for a few minutes, even if we will have a more intense quiet time with Him later in the day.

Starting the day acknowledging Him in all He is and renewing my commitment and love for Him makes my approach to everything different. I cannot depend on habit to turn me toward God. I must be intentional about this. Otherwise, distraction is always there to help me along toward forgetting and then losing my focus. How about you?

Not Normal

I know this is not my normal type of devotional but I am dealing with myself on these things on this third day of January and thought you might be too.

Things to Ponder:

  • Am I keeping my most important pursuit at the top of my mind?
  • What do I need to do to have consistent growth in my relationship with God?
  • As I order my day, am I allowing for God to throw a wrench in my plan? (and therefore, use me for His glory in a way I was not planning on)

Go Deeper Today:

Matthew 5:1-12

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