A Map for the New Year

happy new yearEvery year I have the best of intentions of getting a boatload of things done and every year I watch that ship sail with far less cargo than intended. 2014 was no different… A few weeks ago it was my intention to get my Christmas cards out to friends and family, if you didn’t receive one, don’t feel slighted… neither did anyone else, with the exception of a few that were enclosed with gifts. Life gets crazy, but it’s really more about being off focus than busy.

This is my own verse for 2015 from the book of Ezekiel 11:19

And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:

Once upon a time in the year of our Lord 1996, God gave me a new heart when He saved my soul. It changed the direction of my life from that very day and I began traveling the paths that the Lord had laid out, however I have on more than one occasion strayed from the path of His intended design and went off on my own journey; which always ended in disaster and found me crawling back to God’s path. Ezekiel’s verse, written long before God’s Son redeemed mankind, has a prophetic tone and a message for me (and perhaps you) that will lay the ground work for our 2015 journey. Within that verse I found a map…

Motives: What is our motives within the body of Christ? Do we seek to have one heart with the congregation or are we more concerned with the oneness of our own. In a world full of division, now is the time that they need to see the body of Christ working together. I love what I heard a few weeks ago regarding churches… “I decided I would stop following men and follow the bible, there’s too much religion in the other.” That’s not a direct quote, but the foundational truth is there. Billy Graham once said “The highest form of worship is the worship of unselfish Christian service. The greatest form of praise is the sound of consecrated feet seeking out the lost and helpless.” — That should be my motive every day in 2015.

Attitudes: That new spirit needs to be a full blown attitude check! I speak to my own, but perhaps I’m not alone. I often get so caught up in my own thoughts that I close my mind to someone else’s ideas. Everything Christ did upset the religious. It was new and different and so unlike anything they’d ever heard before. Nothing He did strayed from the foundation of the law, but it loosened the law’s tie, and put on a pair of work pants instead of a suit! We need to get busy working for the Kingdom of God instead of the formality of service. Amen?

Purpose: A purpose driven life should have God in the driver’s seat, but not as a chauffeured driven limo as if we’re some hotshot star, but more like the Amish that worked on my house a few years ago. They had a driver that dropped them off on the job site and they worked until He returned… That’s our purpose. Work until He returns, which could be very soon! That heart of flesh is one that feels… genuinely feels. A heart of compassion that realizes we are all sinners saved by Grace and in need of mercy.

Get your gear! And let’s do some serious traveling in 2015!!!

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