Up to the Challenge?

The Christmas season is over and it's hard to believe it has been two years since I first came to be a part of this church. Time has flown by and a new year is upon us. How will we live it?

Every year at the beginning of the year we have an opportunity to evaluate the year behind us and look to the year ahead with new eyes. Will we learn from last year? Will we seek to live more for God in the new year?

Pastors John and Lauren have a series coming up in January that is a 31-Day Challenge, "Who Will Control Your Days?". I can think of a lot of things that control my days. How about you?

Time management.

Possibly one of the most significant challenges we will face in our walk with God is time management. The Psalmist encouraged us to manage our time in Psalm 90:12, "Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Time is fleeting and we can fill it so quickly with things that just don't matter. What will we do with the time that we have been given? Will we make it count? Lots of things can fill our time, or we can choose to fill our time.

Time with God in His Word.

Every year I start a new Bible reading plan. and while there have been years I have missed completion (no condemnation), just having the practice of being with God daily makes a huge impact in how I live. When our lives are centered around God, we are centered. Sometimes it can be hard to be consistent, though. I have a Bible reading plan that you can join in on—a community of people seeking to spur one another on in God's word. If you find it difficult to read the word, you can also listen to it.

Time with Family.

Spending time with loved ones takes intentionality and planning. We can take them for granted and miss precious time with them. Planning special times with them helps to build these primary relationships that God has placed in our lives.

Time with God's people.

We were not meant to be isolated. Our social media driven society can make us think we are connected, but being with others in person offers a fellowship that the worldwide net never could. We hope you will join us in worship each week for encouragement in your faith and for fellowship around the Flame cafe. God is among us. Make time to hang with God's people—church, small groups, get togethers.

Time for Everything.

There is a season and a time for everything, as it says in Ecclesiastes 3:1, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens". Sometimes I feel like there is not enough time for everything, but there is enough time for what God has called us to. And when we seek to manage well the time He has given, we find ourselves refreshed. We might have to prune to make that happen, too, but God will reveal how our days should be spent.

The Mind Has It.

May God help us to prepare our hearts for the coming year. We will struggle in this fallen world, but struggling means we are staying in the fight. We can make up our mind and rise to the challenges set before us. And the goal is not perfection, but faithfulness. May God find us faithful.

Happy New Year! Let's live well for the glory of God!

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