The new year is upon us but think back over 2012. Do you remember how 2012 started? It involved setting goals, spiritual and physical. I wanted to ride a century, 100 miles. I wanted to lose a few pounds. I wanted to read the Bible more, pray more and just spend more time with God. I did not make the bike ride but managed to shed a few pounds. I did not read as much as I planned but I did grow closer to the Lord.
We had 365 days in 2012. And within that we had 53 Sunday’s and 52 Wednesday’s. We had 105 days, at least 2010 plus hours, to spend in fellowship with the Lord and His Church. We had that time to say yes to the Lord and no to our wrong desires. We had time to repent, change and live the abundant life the way the Lord wanted.
And on those 105 days, what did the Lord use to touch your life? What did He use to draw you nearer to Him? Was it the some of the 200 plus message you heard on Sunday and/or Wednesdays? Was it some of the Sunday Schools lessons? Was it some of the music? Was it the peace, kindness and love you received while you were with the Church? Think back, remember and write it down. And in your remembrance think about how much you are loved by God the Father, made possible by God the Son and revealed by God the Holy Spirit.
So now that you are remembering 2012, I must ask you to think forward. What do you want to accomplish, spiritually, mentally and physically in 2013? What do you want your goals to be for 2013? For me, I want to be in better health. I want to eat the right foods, sleep at least 6 to 8 hours per night, exercise daily and yes, ride that century. I want to learn. I want to read books about God, history, adventure and exercise. But most important I want to grow closer to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I want to know Them more and I want Them to know me more.
So what are your goals for 2013? Don’t think, “Well I did not accomplish any of my goals in 2012” or “why even try because I can never make it.” Say to yourself, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Be realistic with your goals and your thinking. Think about crawl, walk and run. You need to start with realistic goals.
If you are not in the habit of spending time with God daily do not start January 1 by saying “I will read and pray every day for five hours.” No, be realistic. For the first three weeks spend at least five minutes praying and reading the Bible, daily. Then add more minutes to it as the year goes on. During those 52 weeks, make attendance at Church on Sunday a priority. Then by the 52nd week, I bet you find that you are spending at least 20 minutes, daily, in fellowship with God, that Monday’s are always better and you have a fullness in your life like never before.
If you are thinking about mental goals, it starts with watching less TV, spending less time on the smart phone and less “play time” on the computer. Substitute that time with reading the Bible, reading a good book or listening/watching an educational program. You will find yourself more knowledgeable, having a better understanding of life and happier.
If you never exercised in 2012 do not wake up January 1 and try to run 5 miles because you will hurt yourself. For the first week walk a ¼ mile, the second walk ½ mile, and add a little more each week. With that change your diet by reducing the amount of sodas you drink and candy you eat. If you drink three sodas only drink one soda then add two waters. If you eat three candy bars, reduce it by eating two pieces of fruit and one candy bars. And by the end of the year you will have lost weight, changed you complexion and improved your attitude.
So now that you have some ideas about your goals, spiritual, physical and mental, write them down and keep them in front of you. And say “I can do all things through Christ who strengths me”. That is from Philippians 4:13.
Thanks for reading, Pastor Jim.
We meet at the Kenedy Civic Center/Ruhman Franklin Auditorium which is part of City Hall located at 303 W. Main Street in Kenedy. On Sunday's we begin at 10 a.m. and Wednesday at 7 p.m.