Happy New Year!

It’s that time of year when we reflect on the previous year, and we look forward to what God has in store for us in 2015.  Often it is a time for making resolutions to do things differently this year to the past.  For some it will be weight loss; for others it will be cleaning and de-cluttering.  But for most of us, it will only take a few days, perhaps weeks for us to revert back to our old ways as the busyness of daily routines return.

Making resolutions might have a positive impact on our psyche, but the changing of the date from 2014 to 2015 has no power in it to transform us.  True transformation comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ.  As Paul said to the Corinthians,

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. (2 Corinthians 5:17-19)

God’s purpose for the world is to bring everything in heaven and on earth under the headship and authority of Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:10).  Therefore his agenda in the world is to:

  1. TRANSFER people out of the domain of darkness into the Kingdom of the Son
  2. TRANFORM people to maturity in Jesus.

Graciously, God involves US in his agenda as Jesus commands his disciples to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20), and as He builds His church (Ephesians 4:11-13) by using us to prayerfully speak His Word to other people.  Our work is to make and grow disciples.

So as we approach 2015, what plans do you have to grow as a disciple?  For example, how will you grow in:

  • Conviction – how will you grow in your knowledge of God and understanding of the Bible?
  • Character – how will you grow in godliness?
  • Competencies – what skill do you want to develop to help you to prayerfully speak God’s Word to others

As well as that, who do you plan to disciple?  Who will you speak God’s Word to, pray for, encourage, spur on, meet with, check up on etc?  It might be someone in your home, or someone in your Growth Group, or in your congregation, or over the fence or at work.  Why don’t you write down some names and begin praying that God would give you opportunity in 2015.

A New Year resolution isn’t successful by making one big decision.  It is only successful when we make lots of little decisions to make it happen.  Being a disciple of Jesus is similar.  While the date change doesn’t have power to transform us, Jesus gives us new life, enabling us to make lots of decisions day by day to follow him, to love him and obey him.

May God bless you in 2015 as you grow in faith, hope and love, and as you speak His Word to others to encourage and build them.

Dave Philpott