Posts Tagged ‘New Year’

Three Keys to a Clear Life Vision

January 3rd, 2017 No comments


Each new year brings with it the fresh opportunity for change. I love the fact that every 365 days we put a period on one year and we open a brand new one. It’s like a big “do-over” in life!

Maybe you felt like last year was a test and you bombed the exam. Well, the good news is that we get a re-take for 2017. Brush up on those areas of weakness. Make some adjustments. Raise your grade. Thank God for fresh beginnings!

My favorite teachers always took the time to review before the big, scary final exam. They wanted you to be fully prepared for what was coming. No surprises. No unclear expectations. Good teachers, after all, were committed to your success.

The Apostle Paul was a fabulous teacher. I love the way he reminds his spiritual son, Timothy, what is truly important. He is truly committed to his success. In 2 Timothy 3:10, Paul highlights three keys to a clear life vision.

But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance.

Paul wants Timothy to win at life. He wants him to succeed in those areas that really matter. So he highlights three critical areas of focus.

#1. You know what I teach.

In other words, Paul was clear about what he believed.  Do you know what you believe? Do others know what you believe? This is why it is so important to spend time daily in God’s Word. It’s also a reason to be deeply committed to a local church where God’s Word is consistently preached and taught. Like Paul, we should be intentional about sharing the truths of the Bible with others.

#2. You know how I live.

Paul is making reference here to his lifestyle and values. People often claim to “believe” a lot of things. For instance, you may agree that God’s Word matters but never spend time reading and studying the Bible. The best way to tell what someone really believes is to look at the way they live. Your lifestyle is your belief system in action. What you truly value will always find expression through what you do, not what you say you believe. Can people clearly see Jesus by reading your life? Do they know what you value by watching how you live? Do you value your relationship with Christ? Then spend time with Him. Do you value your marriage? Then take time to invest in your spouse.

#3. You know my life purpose.

This refers to our vocation and calling. It’s exciting to begin another year, but you need to ask yourself, “Why am I here?” For what unique purpose has God created you?  If you know your WHY it brings clarity to everything else you do. God has placed within you gifts that are to be developed and used for His glory. In a sense, we are called to steward the purposes of God contained within us by maximizing them for His glory. I love this quote by John Meyers: 

“It is one thing to be right with God and enjoy a measure of personal communion with Him. It is quite another to understand His greater purposes and let our personal experience be properly related to that all-inclusive end.”

I hope these three questions will bring greater clarity to your life in this New Year and in the years to come. Here’s my prayer for you…

May he grant your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed! (Psalm 20:4)




A Sacred Trust

January 5th, 2010 No comments

I trust everyone is having a great New Year! We are enjoying our week of corporate prayer and fasting as we seek to make Jesus FIRST in every area of our lives. New beginnings give us all the chance to reflect on LIFE from a God-centered perspective. From a biblical perspective, LIFE is a sacred trust. LIFE is a gift from our Creator, so all of our choices must be made in the shadow of His greater purposes and designs. Our life is a sacred gift which requires faithfulness on our part as stewards.

This is why we need a worldview that is biblically saturated, Christ-centered, God exalting and Holy Spirit empowered! Why is a biblical view of reality so important? Worldviews fulfill a couple of vital needs:

1. They provide unity to thought and life. Have you ever lived in what social scientists call cognitive dissonance? This occurs when your thoughts and your actions are in disharmony. For instance, you know smoking is bad for you, yet you keep lighting up. As a result, you live in a state of emotional and mental disruption until you can reconcile these opposing activities. A worldview helps you live a consistent, unified life. What you believe fits reality and informs the way you live. You are in harmony with God and with yourself. Life is good!

2. Worldviews also help to define the “good life.” What is the meaning of life? Why are you here to begin with? What’s the purpose behind this thing called life? Worldviews help to keep us from living what Socrates called, “The unexamined life.”

The start of a New Year is the perfect time to push the “pause” button of life, and to take some time to reflect on the deeper questions. Examine your life. Are you happy with the way you are living? What changes need to take place? Where do you need to grow? What relationships need some focus and care? Most importantly, how’s your relationship with Jesus?

Remember, your life is not you own. It has been given to you by your Creator as a “sacred trust.” Let’s commit together to maximizing this trust in a way that honors Jesus and brings Him great glory!

Partnering with the Holy Spirit for 2010

December 31st, 2009 No comments

As we prepare to enter another New Year, we do so with a variety of experiences and expectations. For some, 2009 has been a year filled with trials and obstacles. Perhaps you experienced the death of a loved one or you are in the difficult place of trying to find steady employment. For you, 2010 can be an exciting opportunity for breakthrough or simply the continuation of a dreary and difficult season. 

Imagine what things were like before we experienced the first New Year. The Bible tells us, “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep.”  (Genesis 1:2) Each New Year, since the first one, looks the same from our perspective. After all, “we see through a glass, darkly” (I Cor. 13:12). The New Year is filled with uncertainty and unknowns. Only the Lord fully knows what lies ahead for America and planet Earth.

But look what happened next. The Bible says,  “The Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” The Holy Spirit has the power to bring clarity out of chaos and meaning out of the madness of this fallen world. We remain “prisoners of hope” as we allow the Holy Spirit to hover over our lives, our families, our church, our nation and our world. Our confidence in the Holy Spirit becomes and anchor which steadies us through the storms we encounter. The writer of Hebrews tells us, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul” (6:19)     We stand in faith ”being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1).

I want to invite everyone to join us January 3-8 at 7pm at the Crown Point campus as we gather as a corporate family to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and to “build ourselves up on our most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit” (Jude 20). As we saturate ourselves in the presence of the Lord, God will begin to reveal His plans and purposes for the New Year. As He gives revelation, we have the privilege of of joining the Lord of History in declaring His heart and agenda. As we say, “Let there be….”, God’s power is released from within us to create that which the Lord wants done. The formlessness must give way to Spirit created structure and the empty void becomes a fruitful garden! All this occurs when we choose to partner with the Holy Spirit! Like John the Baptist, let’s join together to prepare the way of the Lord for His powerful entry into this New Year!