I’ve always enjoyed all of the fresh feelings that accompany the calendar rolling over. New Years has often provided for me feelings of newness and freedom that seem exclusive to early January. It is around this time that many of us also start thinking of New Years Resolutions.
As I’ve thought about this most recent new year I’ve been thinking less about my typical Bible reading, fitness, or dietary goals and have instead shifted my attention to evaluating my character and behaviours as a follower of Jesus. So often my resolutions are focused on what I can do to better myself or my life. What would happen if I resolved instead to turn my attention to Jesus, the One who claims to be Life and who gives it to us in abundance? Maybe this new kind of resolution to reflect on and grow in that vital relationship could actually revolutionize the rest of my life?
I (Adam) have the privilege of serving on staff at Terwillegar Community Church in Edmonton. Over this past year our staff journeyed in writing a mission statement for our church. I am someone who is invigorated by the writing of mission and vision statements, so needless to say I LOVED this process. At the end of the day every church mission statement should in some way reflect the various commissions given to the apostles by Jesus, ours is no exception to this and goes like this: Our mission is to know Jesus, walk with Jesus and share Jesus. Simple. Memorable. Challenging.
As the Christmas tree was taken down and appetizers were being prepared for the New Years celebrations my mind was reflecting on these three practices of knowing, walking with, and sharing Jesus. I asked myself: How am I doing in these?
How am I doing in growing in an understanding of who Jesus is, his character, love and beauty? In the many ways I try to know my wife Jalene more intimately, am I similarly pursuing Jesus?
How am I doing in allowing my beliefs and experiences of Jesus to shape the ways in which I go about my day? Do I live in such a way that the presence of Jesus is evident in my choices made with my family, during my work day, in my finances, and how I use my time? Am I listening to hear from Him?
How am I doing in letting people know about the many good things that Jesus has done for me? Am I quick to communicate the good news of Jesus, or am I shy and reserved?
These “how am I doing?” questions are important. The Psalmist prayed asking God to teach him to number his days (Psalm 90:12), to help him reflect on his life in such a way that he learn from it. New Years invokes this discipline of reflection, considering what has gone before and aspiring for good in what is ahead. Asking “how am I doing?” in these areas stirs my heart towards knowing Jesus more, walking with Him more intentionally, and being bold while entering into the joy of sharing about Him.
Perhaps you can join with me this month in prayerfully examining your heart in light of the ways in which you know Jesus, walk with Jesus and share Jesus…
Over the next few weeks we will unpack each of these three elements more!
Excited to journey alongside you in this new season,
— Adam Foster