Jump Start # 2750
Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
Beginnings. The beginning of a new year. The beginning of life. The beginning of a marriage. The beginning of a new school year. The beginning of a new job. A new house. A new school. A new teacher. A new congregation. A new life in Christ. We celebrate so many new beginnings. They are often a journey with a bit of uneasiness and fear. Sometimes a person hopes that they made the right decision. New beginnings.
And, where we are at the start of a new year. Last year certainly didn’t turn out as we’d planned, hoped or wanted. But we made it. We had to make adjustments. We had a few set backs. We struggled. But, here we are at a new year. Will this year be any different? Will this year be better?
For some, a new year is nothing more than the flipping of a calendar to a new date. That’s about it. But for others, a lot of thought, planning and resolving goes into that next year. Steps are made to make things better. And, with those steps comes needful changes, both on the inside, outside and around us.
The self driven person doesn’t wait for someone else to start making changes. He makes changes whether others do nor not. He wants to improve and do better, and most times it shows. I’ve seen that through the years in many people. I do not know if what they did was built around a resolution at the start of the year or not. Many times these changes are the result of a sermon or a private conversation. The honest and good heart is always seeking to better things.
This past year has been hard on us spiritually. Services were slashed. Bible lessons were on video. So many things were band aided together so we could survive. And, what this has shown us is the importance of keeping yourself strong in the Lord. We relied less on others and did what we had to in order to connect with the Lord and others.
Here’s my list of things you can give a try this year as we start things new:
- Find some challenging spiritual books to read. Not “Christian Fiction,” but things of substance, that will help you, strengthen you, and challenge you. The books you choose do not have to be newly published. There are mountains of old books that are wonderful to read. My personal choice at the start of this year is to read some material about the lands of the Bible. I have a special project later in the year and I want to refresh myself about the area, climate and customs.
- Try something new spiritually. Try to memorize some passages. Try leading singing. Start in your home. Watch some videos and see if you can get it right. Write up some lessons to be given on a Wednesday night. Think about who you want to invite to your home when the all clear single is given.
- Maybe this is the year that you need to step up and serve as a shepherd of God’s people. The church certainly needs more and more gifted leaders. Begin the year with a serious and concentrated study of leadership. Lots of great material will help you to get your thinking in the right direction. Talk to current shepherds. Learn. Observe. Then, step up and join the ranks of helping the people of God.
- Find a new routine, whether it’s sitting in a different pew, reading from a different version, or singing without looking at the words. Bring freshness and life to your worship with God. Start a spiritual journal and record your thoughts. Make a list of people you want to encourage and share the Gospel with this year.
So many ways to start “new.” This could be the year that makes a real difference in your spiritual journey. This could be the year that the Lord works through you to make a difference in the lives of others. But one has to put some energy, thought and planning into this. Without that, we’ll be a year older this year, but not a year better.