Another year, and still Jesus hasn’t come! Do we feel disappointed, depressed, disillusioned, because we felt sure he would come in 2011? Or do we feel one year nearer to his glorious return.
New Year is a time to review and reflect: did we achieve what we wanted. Maybe for 2012 our motto could be to focus, on what really matters, and avoid the distractions, Stuart Walker exhorted us last Sunday.
As Paul urges us in Philippians 4, fix your thoughts on whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. We should put those verses before all we do.
Becoming effective, for God, by being selective, about what we do, will help. Rather than being busy getting nowhere, we can change, and Focus on God, our Growth and His Grace.
Maybe a month of reading about Christ in Matthew will help us Focus? Seek ye first the kingdom of God, live righteously, don’t worry about tomorrow, today has trouble enough of its own. We need to put things in God’s hands and Focus on His will. To do that we need to read His word. We need to prioritise our service to Him. If we picked up the Bible whenever we needed to answer a text, e-mail or phone call, would that help us Focus?
We need to Focus on people and friends who will help us Grow spiritually. Are they:
- Refreshers – spiritual mentors, who help us Grow
- Refiners – who sharpen and clarify our vision, maybe challenging us
- Reflectors – who mirror our energy, enthusiasm and passion for Christ
- Reducers – who diminish our goals, don’t accept our aspirations and efforts, want to bring us down to their level. Drifting through life, they think they are right. They are unwilling to step out of their comfort zone. They are too busy.
- Rejecters – who just don’t understand. They don’t know what they want, but they are going all out to get it.
- We need to choose our friends carefully, as we seek to Grow in Christ. We need to monitor our own performance, maybe keeping a spiritual diary.
Without God’s Grace salvation is impossible. We can’t earn it, or buy it. By God’s Grace we are given what we don’t deserve, by God’s mercy we are not given what we do deserve. Thus leaves no room for self-righteousness. We must see how kind, tolerant and patient God is with us. His kindness is meant to turn us from our sin. As Andy added in the evening: Grace makes us alive in Christ. Let’s ensure 2012 sees us Focus on our own Growth through God’s Grace.