2018: A Starting Point.
In order to successfully embark on any journey, we need directions by way of a map or a compass.
How do we start and finish 2018 strong?
As we come into a new year, may you share with me this biblical compass from Colossians 3 as a lamp for our feet, guiding us into the new places of grace that the Lord has prepared in advance for us for 2018.
According to this verse, our current location and position is - we are raised with Christ. Our first direction pointed out by this verse is to set our spiritual compass and attitudes to seek those things which are above and set our minds to things above.
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory – Colossians 3:1-4 (NKJV)
Our next direction is to put to death whatever belongs to our earthly nature which is the directions we used to walk (the wrong direction).
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. Colossians 3:5-7 (NIV)
Next, like a traveller lightening his load along his journey, we are to honour our renewed self and rid ourselves of our old self with its practices.
But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Colossians 3:8-10 (NIV)
We are all on this journey together: “Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.” – Colossians 3:11
And lastly, in order to finish our journey strong and successfully, we are to put on love.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14
In everything we were called to do in life, whether it is to teach, build, lead, serve and other vocations, in whatever we do this year, 2018, “whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” – Colossians 3:17
And be thankful.
Happy New Year. May you finish strong.