"Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16 ESV)
Last year is done and a new one has begun. I’m pretty sure we all have things that we feel could have made 2014 a little better, but we must face the reality that time moves forward and so do we. Our only option is to move forward into the year ahead and to make the most of it by God’s grace. Every regret, every disappointment and every trial is in your past and may even be lingering in your present, but they don’t have to possess your future.
In this year just like the last one you are going to need God. You are going to need His grace, power and most importantly His manifest presence during the course of this year. As a matter of fact, you can’t afford to go this year without Him. During this year it is my prayer that you would begin to actively engage God through prayer and a more consistent study of the Bible. It is my desire that you would move beyond the mechanical movements of cold religion to the easy flow of a vibrant relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
As you begin planning for 2015, prayerfully consider ways that you can make a greater impact in the live of others for God’s glory. Don’t make this year about you alone, but let your relationship with God overflow into your relationships with others. This year your relationship with God will make you a better, spouse, parent, child, sibling, employer, and employee. Your relationship with God will also fuel you for a level of success that you have never experienced before. This year will your best year yet.
What do you believe God will accomplish in your life this year?
Declaration: “In this year I will refuse to accept the limitations of the previous year. With God I will accomplish great things. Doors of opportunity are opening to me every day. The favor of God enables me to make the most of every opportunity that I am given. I conquer every impossibility because I living life with God.”
“May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,” (Colossians 1:11 ESV)
"The greatest love a person can show is to die for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you." John 15:13, 14 NCV
We live in a day and a time that demands radical obedience that is motivated by radical love. The world has seen enough of radical disobedience motivated by selfishness that's why they refuse to associate with anything that resembles Christianity. However, we can't allow this to silence our witness, but we must live God's love out loud.
The other day I encountered a Jehovah's Witness who preceded to tell me about the various crises that he's currently encountering one of his issues being frequent seizure episodes that prevented him from keeping a job. I listened to him as he told me his problems sensing in my heart that this was an opportunity for him to have a God encounter. As we were preparing to part company I obeyed God's prompting and asked if I could pray for his healing and he said, "Yes" thinking that I would simply lift his name up in prayer later, but sensing that God wanted to heal him now I immediately began praying right on the spot. After I prayed for him he began to feel better and expressed his appreciation for my actions. The next day I saw the man and he came to me and said, "Young man, what you did for me yesterday impacted my life greatly. It refreshed me and I know that it was motivated by real love, thank you."
As disciples of Jesus Christ we have to follow his lead at all times especially when we are outside the church walls because that's where radical obedience is tested the most. Too many believers leave their "holy boldness" at church instead of taking it to the streets. If God's love is in you then you have an obligation to boldly declare the good news through your words and more importantly your actions. Always keep in mind that we are not waiting for a season of revival to come and turn the hearts of unbelievers towards God because revival is already here right inside of you. From this day forward may your declaration always be, "I am a revival!"
Steve Tolbert is an emerging revivalist who is passionate about drawing people closer to God.