Happy New Year! Another year is behind us and it’s with starry eyes (well, maybe still a little groggy) that we approach 2017. I really do think most people want that feeling of starting fresh with a new beginning, however, let’s do something different this year. For now, let’s put aside those common New Year’s resolutions and goals like losing weight and getting fit, or spending less and saving more, or becoming more organized…yada, yada, yada!
While each of us can probably relate to at least one of the goals I’ve mentioned, perhaps what we really need is something different…something more. Consider these four MUST DOs to make the most of the New Year before us. They all start with “D” and should be easy to remember.
No Mumbo Jumbo Here…Four Must DOs For 2017
- DREAM Big
Do you have a bucket list? If not, then pick one event you’ve dreamed about and go for it. Maybe it’s taking that big trip (Why not a missions trip to South Africa?) or going back to school. Why not run a marathon or your first 10K? Write a book! That’s what my friend, Jeff, did and it was recently published – That is so inspiring! Jesus put a dream in Peter’s heart in Matthew 16:18 that many surely doubted would ever happen. Hint: Don’t let others tell you it can’t be done. Pray about it, make a plan, and ask God to help you accomplish it. And as Buster Moon (from the movie Sing) says, “Don’t let fear stop you from doing the things you love.”
- DELAY Gratification
The first New Year’s “D” was inspiring, but the second is more like a reality check. We live in a narcissistic, it’s-all-about-me world. It’s a fast-paced instant-gratification society that perpetually makes us more impatient and discontent. It doesn’t have to be like that in 2017!
I say, delay gratification. This is a call to think eternally and invest our time and money in what matters most. It’s about making wise life choices and purchases that have a long-term impact while not demanding or insisting on instant results.
The demands for instant results are seeping into every corner of our lives, and not just virtually? Ask yourself, “Do I need to put my life back in balance?” If you do, then here are some things to consider: Should you make that purchase? Are you “laying up for yourselves treasures in heaven,” (Matt. 6:20) or here on earth? Are you making church attendance a priority and investing in spiritual disciplines that grow you spiritually? Are you giving your kids the best shot of really knowing who Jesus is? Begin January 1st by putting into place whatever God brings to mind. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt. 6:21)
3. DISCOVER Giftedness
Number three may be one of the biggest oversights on planet earth! When God saves His people, He also gives them spiritual gifts to use for His glory. Do you know how God has gifted you and are you putting your gifts to use for Him? How has God wired you? What do you enjoy doing most? What gets you all fired up and what are you most passionate about? Do what you love, love what you do!
Throughout most my education and adult life I was taught to compensate for my weaknesses. It finally dawned on me how crazy that concept is. We should be strengthening our strengths! We should know our strengths and areas where we excel most, and then go for them. In 2017, I say do what you are good at…best at…and do it with all your heart for Jesus!
- DISCIPLE Someone
If Jesus were making a MUST DO list, this very possibly would be at the top. It has to do with His last words before He departed the earth (Matt. 28:19-20) and it should be part of the DNA in every Christ follower. We should all disciple someone and have someone else disciple us. This is the very heartbeat of God and we all need it.
I can hear some of you right now saying… “But I’m not good at that.” Or, “I don’t know enough about God or have enough life experiences to pass along to someone else.” That’s serious mumbo jumbo!
You can and you should mentor and help someone grow in his or her relationship with Christ. Discipleship actually promotes growth in them as well as in you. If you’re a parent, are you intentionally discipling your children? It’s definitely a MUST DO for 2017.
Stop the MUMBO JUMBO and get busy with these MUST DOs
Proverbs 14:23 says, “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” In other words, talk is cheap. Make 2017 a year to remember forever — Invest in eternity. You’ll be blessed and God will be glorified!