1/2/08

R-I-N-G in the New Year

I normally make a long list of New Year’s Resolutions which are broken by the time Valentine’s Day rolls around. This year, my list is short and sweet. I am “Ringing in the New Year” with four areas of focus.

R is for Rely on God. As a stubbornly independent woman, I am continually challenged by Proverbs 3:5-6. My earthly father wisely gave me this passage to help me remember that I need to lean on God. As it says in The Message: “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own….”

I like the imagery of leaning—counting on God to hold me up. David expressed this concept of leaning in Psalm 91:2 (Amplified version): “I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, My God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I confidently trust.” Sometimes when we lean on God, He takes us through fiery trials, but He is with us (I Peter 1:3-8; 4:12-13). When we remember that God is on the throne, and He owns us (and everything we own), we will more likely rely on Him and His resources.

I is for Invest in Others. To invest in people is to commit to them by spending time with them and devoting resources to their present and/or future benefit. Whatever we have, we allow to flow through us to others. We invest in people by loving and serving them; by planned acts of kindness, comfort, and hospitality; by giving to meet needs, and by entering into their lives—rejoicing and weeping with them.

N is for Nourish Yourself. In the Old Testament, immense wealth was used to construct and care for the Temple (I Chronicles 29:1-5), and we should care for our bodies in the same way, because they are God’s Temple on earth (I Corinthians 6:19-20) … God lives in the believer (I Corinthians 3:16; John 14:23). God wants His children to make wise, biblical choices. When they do, God’s glory will fill their lives, just as the glory of the Lord filled Solomon’s temple (2 Chronicles 7:1-3, 12-15).

We nourish ourselves mentally (2 Timothy 2:15), emotionally and socially (Matthew 22:37-40; John 13:3; I John 4:7, 18), and spiritually (I Peter 4:7; Philippians 4:8-9; I Samuel 15:22; 2 Peter 3:18).

G is for Grow and Go. God wants us to be proactive in taking our growth up a notch, so He can lift our outreach to a higher level. It’s a matter of cause and effect—preparation and ministry. As you consider your New Year’s goals, think about people you want to reach with God’s love, and then think of choices you can make to better prepare yourself to reach them. Grow … and then go. And maybe you can do what I have done. I have a little bell by my computer to remind me to R – I – N – G out strong this year!

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