Entering 2018 with a Clear Purpose
January 1 marks a brand new year, an opportunity to leave past mistakes and bad habits behind and begin something new. We need about a week to recover from Christmas before we even have enough energy to think about such things! Coming up with New Year’s resolutions is a tradition. We joke that we make them to break them. That’s human nature. All joking aside, each of us, along with the whole world, has an “hourglass” draining sand continually. Our lives and the time allotted to humanity are passing quickly. Sometimes we live as if we never expect to die. My Dad once wore a tee shirt that said: “I will not die until I have accomplished everything God has assigned me. At the rate I am going, I will never die.” (Okay, I admit I did not put all joking aside!) The truth is, though, that death will come calling whether we have completed our assignments or not. When our time is up, we will not get a “redo.”
So what’s the best way we can use the time we have left? Great question! I am glad you asked. If we are followers of Christ, we don’t have to come up with our own answers. We already know what to do. Jesus told us to come, follow him, and fish for people. (Matthew 4:19) If you are the adventurous type, following Jesus and fishing for people will get your motor running. If you are the disciplined, hard working type, this is for you. If you’re looking for something that’s fun, this might be for you, that is, if you are willing to suffer a bit, too.
Sadly, I believe that I am correct in saying that most people who call themselves Christians want nothing to do with fishing for people. The quickest way to stir up a hornet’s nest of opposition is to tell people that they have a responsibility to fulfill the Great Commission.
How about you? Are you internally resistant to Jesus’ call to fish for people? Are you willing to resolve (with the Spirit’s help, of course) to fish for people in 2018? Are you willing to take the time to learn how to share the Gospel? (Click here to read how.) Are you committed to learning how to lean on the Holy Spirit’s power and gifts? (Read here to learn more.) Are you willing to give up your time to visit people, have people over, serve them, and pray for them?
And what do we do with the fish we catch? This is where the fishing metaphor breaks down a bit. We turn them into fishers of men, too. That is what it means to make disciples, people who will follow Christ and fish for people, just as we do.
Making disciples means we teach and show others to do what we are doing.
If we are not doing much, guess what? We will train them to be just like us, and that is what is wrong with a large section of the church. Don’t be a Christian consumer in the audience watching others do all the work. In 2018, resolve to be a doer, a participant, showing others what to do!
God’s grace and blessings be with all of us as we pursue the Lord and his kingdom work in the coming year!