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December 28, 2017

The end of 2017 is near.  As this week concludes, we spend it reflecting on past accomplishments and hopes for a better you in 2018.  We put together our Resolution list, set our calendar for fasting in January, and start prepping for a more dedicated year.


What if instead of doing all this you spend the next couple days reflecting on your failures rather then accomplishments?  Bare with me on this!  Don't close your browser just yet! 


Why are we asking people to do this?  "Failures is the best place to begin teaching."  What is a disciple of Christ?  They are students.  What do we expect out of students?  Failures.  Instead of chastising each other for our shortcomings let's instead begin teaching each other in His ways.


 Focusing on accomplishments is easy.  In fact just before I sat down to write this Fox News was doing just that.  Focusing on all of Donald Trump's victories.  It's natural to gravitate towards this and justify or write off our failures.  Focusing


Now we're not trying to go all doomsday on you.  We have a reason for this.  What we'd like you to do is take a moment and write down all the times you feel that you failed in 2017.


Maybe you failed a friend, family member, co-worker, classmate, spouse, or significant other.  Perhaps you failed at work, as a teammate, at church, or as a volunteer.  


Whatever it was, big or small, write it down.  Think through each situation and ask God to teach you how to handle better these cases going forward.  Be a disciple and listen to His guidance.  


I'm sure some of you are asking, "Why would I do this?"  Seems a bit backward and anti what was taught to do.  


"In fact, the comprehensiveness of your devotion to God will be demonstrated by your love for those made in God's image." - Mark Dever


We are all made in God's image.  We love each other as Christ loved us (Love according to the Bible is an action word meaning loyalty and faithfulness to God, i.e., we listen to His guidance and allow the words to sink in, provide understanding, and generate a response).  When we fail to love each other, we fail Christ.  We miss out on opportunities to listen to Him.  Opportunities where He guides us.  Opportunities where we generate a response not out of our own selfish needs but out of His care for His people.


Instead of generating a list of Resolutions based on your needs, let us look back on these teachable moments and generate a list based on His desires for our lives.


But remember... we can not use God's word for our gain.  We use His word for His glory!  For His kingdom!  In all that we do, we do for Him - Colossians 3:1-17


If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.


5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.


12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.


Live for His glory... Succeed for His kingdom!




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