Today, of course, is the last day of 2014 and it will soon give way to the first day of 2015. On the one hand, the movement into a new year is somewhat arbitrary as can be deduced from the fact that different cultures around the world have different ways of marking time. But on the other hand, in our culture this change of seasons does give us an opportunity to reflect on the fact that, in Christ, all thing are new, and that, in Christ, we are being transformed into his image from one degree of glory to another.
This work of transformation is Christ’s work, but he does assign us our part. As Peter wrote in 2 Peter 1:5-8, “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
I apply this text at the beginning of every year by developing a spiritual growth plan that guides me along the way. What follows is my vision, the mandate and hope by which I live in Christ, and my overall objective for the year (I also have specific goals and an action plan, but I want to keep that to myself!).
To be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. “29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified” (Rom 8:29-30).
Divine Mandate and Hope:
To make my calling and election sure so that I will never fall in this life and will enter into the eternal Kingdom of Jesus Christ. “10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet 1:10-11).
Objective for 2015:
To discern God’s will for the next season of my life in ministry, especially with regard to writing, and to apply what he reveals.
You may or may not want to develop something so specific as this, but however you go about articulating your vision and plan for the year, what is your vision and plan for the year? What is God calling you to shoot for? How will you go about doing that?
I’d love to hear your comments, suggestions, and plans. Let’s lift up one another in prayer as we seek to know and love Jesus Christ more and more this year.