“A new day, a new chance to excel.” That is what I used to tell my kids as we would start a new day. And so, January 1, 2012 begins a new year. What will it mean to “Excel” with the Free Grace Alliance in 2012? Let me put before you for your consideration three goals that I have for the FGA as an organization. I hope you also will embrace these goals.
First, I hope that we will deepen our own personal spiritual lives as we live before the Lord Jesus Christ. This is not simply a New Year's resolution or an unrealistic item on a list of goals. It is in fact the essence of what we seek as Christians. For some of us, this will include renewing our commitment to read through the scriptures and study the scriptures, not simply for our professional output, but for personal intake and devotional value. For some, this will include a renewed commitment to achieving a robust prayer life. This is not simply creating more lists of people to pray for, although that might be helpful, but I mean a deeply dependent awareness of the role of the resurrected Christ in our lives as we seek His guidance and leading in our lives. For some, this will include a clearer understanding of the accountability that is ours as we seek to invest our lives. This is articulated in both the Old Testament (Ecclesiastes12:14) and the New Testament (I Peter 1:17; Romans 14:10; I Corinthians 9:24-27; 2 Corinthians 5:9-10). I hope and pray for you and myself that we will understand what Moses said in Psalm 90 and allow it to guide and drive us each day of 2012.
“Teach us to number of days that we might present to You a heart of wisdom.”
Second, I hope that we continue to do the work of the Lord by fulfilling the great commission. The “Great Comment” Jesus made before the “Great Commission” was “all authority has been given to me". This great comment is followed by the great commission, which commands us to make disciples. It appears that the method of making disciples as we are “going” along our way is contained in the two remaining participles, “baptizing and teaching”. “Baptizing” seems to emblemize the concept of evangelization. “Teaching them all things I commanded you” emblemizes the concept of edification. Hence, we are to evangelize the lost and edify the saved. Both aspects are needed and you personally may be more naturally or supernaturally gifted to do one or the other. But it seems that we are all under the obligation to do some of both, which in its fullness will be our role in participating in the Great commission. (BTW-Jesus has not rescinded His marching orders!) It seems to me that it is often more natural, or easy, for us to engage in theological dialogue and debate, and at times this is essential. However, we must not forget to keep the main thing the main thing - and the main thing is that we share the free gift of eternal life to a lost and dying world. So, may I challenge you as I challenge myself---in 2012 do more evangelism. For some of us it will mean reaching out to our neighbors or perhaps those with whom we work. It may necessitate that we become a bit more creative and work through new channels, perhaps social, community or athletic events with friends and families or those who are connected to our children.
I do not know what or where your Jerusalem, Judea or uttermost part of the world may be. But I do know this - I need to get off to a good start this year sharing my faith. After all - the consequences are eternal. (You may want to contact EvanTell.org for guidance and training in this area.)
Finally, I hope that in 2012 each of us will make it our intention to pass along more of that which we have learned in our Christian life. This is what the Apostle Paul commanded Timothy in Second Timothy 2:2. Today we call it mentorship. Biblically we call it discipleship. Whatever we call it, let's make sure we do it! It is essential that we of the Free Grace Alliance and those who uphold the gospel of grace pass on to the next generation not only a proper theology but a proper methodology of living the Christian life. And so my encouragement to you, as well as to myself, is that we would lead a life in 2012 that is not only an offering to the Lord, but will also produce men and women who will serve Him until He comes. It is as the old Greek proverb states: “We are planting trees whose shade we will never sit under”.
Christmas is over and the New Year is upon us. I hope for 2012 you have set before yourself goals and objectives, both professional and personal that, under the leading of the Spirit, will exalt the Lord Jesus and bring Glory to the Father.
Serving Him with you
until He comes for us,
until He comes for us,
P.S. I also hope that if you have not renewed your membership and paid your dues for 2012 that you will pay a visit to our website and “re-up”.