We start a new year with a renewed emphasis as the Renew Church family.
I’ll be preaching on how we can Build the Altar to God in our lives, a short three-week mini-series to commence 2017. We start with Worship (message for 1/1/17), and Community (1/8), and then our physical health (1/15). We want this to be Grace-driven effort, and mostly we want to please God (2 Corinthians 5:9).
As you consider your life in 2016 and lean into the new year, I invite you to ask the crucial question(s), and consider the direction you’ll take.
We can set goals, which can be a helpful exercise — for productivity, and any area of life, including exercise. If you’re a goal-setter, go for it.
Many people I know, mostly men in my anecdotal experience, roll their eyes when New Year’s Resolutions come up in conversation. Cynics say (or think), “I’ve tried that before … never again!” Or perhaps it’s best to keep one’s ambitions private?
In any case, let me suggest another route: envision your direction for the new year.
This way the mileposts are not bolted to the ground, but the trajectory of your life is set on course. What way will you go? What routines and habits will get you on that journey? Let’s call these routines and habits “rhythms”: ways of living and being and worshiping and serving. This is the “sacred mundane.” What direction will you go, and why rhythms of life will get you there.
When the Gospel is your reason for living, then you’ve have gospel reasons for how you plan out a life, a year, a month, a week, even a day or hour.
When I pause to consider my life’s direction, and ponder the simply rhythms it will take to stay on course, I’m at a posture of a worshiper. What in my life will worship Christ in the new year? And how will I go about it? Life becomes simplified, attainable.
From this perspective there are then a handful of essentials I’ll bring into each day, which when given priority, have the power to change me from the inside out. These are:
- Worship & Learn » how will I worship Christ through prayer and reading His Word?
- Serve & Be » how will I serve others and be in genuine relationship with them?
- Go as a Son » how will I please God the Father today in all I do?
These are the essentials, providing the values for the rhythms (routines and habits) I’ll pursue.
They flow out of an identity, for contrary to what Aristotle supposedly quipped we actually are not what we repeatedly do. WHOs come first, then DOs. Continue reading