And just like that, Christmas has ended and a new year begins. If you’re like me (and for your sake I certainly hope not!), the first couple of weeks following Christmas usually come with a bit of the blues attached. The sugar and adrenaline-fueled sprint of the Christmas season has finally settled down, and we jump back into the regular rhythms of life. But with each new year comes the opportunity to take stock of our lives and reconsider what’s really important as we move forward.
Last year, one of the goals I had for 2017 was to re-read the Bible from cover-to-cover. In case you haven’t noticed, the Bible is a big book and not all parts are what we would consider thrilling, action-packed reading material. But as a man who is convinced that “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Tim 3:16 ESV), I know that one of my never-ending needs is to know God’s Word better. So I downloaded a helpful Bible-reading app that tells me exactly which passages I need to read on each day in order to meet my goal. Did I finish? Nope! As of the day I’m writing this (Dec 22nd), I’m about 80% done. But here’s the truth: it doesn’t bother me one bit. I’ll keep marching along steadily through the first part of 2018, savoring reading the “leftovers” from 2017, and it will be just as nourishing to my soul. God’s grace abounds to the chief of sinners, and His Word is always relevant.
As you take time to look back and look ahead (and please do!), what do you want to see God do in and through you this year? Yes, we all want to lose weight, move up in the world, and see our kids thrive. But the most important questions we all must ask are, “How can I glorify and enjoy God more this year? What is competing with Him for first place in my life right now? In what ways does the Holy Spirit want to make me more like Jesus?” These questions are the red meat of life.
So don’t waste your 2018. Take your life back down to the studs and go back to the basics. Read your Bible. Spend a few minutes in prayer every day. Love your neighbors and your enemies. Show up to worship on the Lord’s Day. Turn off the TV and read just one book that nourishes your soul. Confess your sins, fears, and failures to another person. And delight in the grace of Jesus that makes all of this possible.
Serving the God Who Makes All Things New,
Don’t Forget These Big Dates in January!
January 19-21st—Youth Winter Retreat
January 28th—Annual Meeting
 If you’re interested, I use the Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan from the Navigators. Look it up online or download “DJ Bible Reading Plan” for free from Google Play or the AppStore.