While I planned on writing this post a bit closer to the last day of the year, I realized that we will be with my wife’s (large and wonderful) family, and time there is just not conducive to writing. So as the year closes I at least wanted to reflect on several ideas in lieu of the coming year.
With each passing year that comes to a close it also means that I turn another year older, since my birthday falls on December 30. While I am still considered to be relatively young by most people’s standards, it is a good opportunity to reflect on the frailty of life. In Psalm 90 the writer asks God to teach us to number our days. While in Bible college I had a professor who did just that, and basically counted up the days until he would turn 75 so he could have a an idea of the potential years he had left (on average). This may sound a bit morbid, but it also keeps one’s life in perspective, first of all by reminding us of this reality: “Only one life, ’twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” Secondly, it reminds us that this life is not all there is, that we live with a hope of eternity with our great God, and that should guide our decision here and now.
Another helpful reflection at the end of the year is to take stock of how well you are doing at killing sin and putting on righteousness. Circumstances can have a way of exposing you for who you really are, and I find that to be the case over the past year. Currently I am working diligently as a PhD student in theology, and am working as an online instructor for a couple of schools. I have also been a teaching assistant for a professor at the seminary I attend and seek to minister at my church. I am a husband to an incredible wife and father to two wonderful children. Needless to say, like all of you, I am busy, and busyness does not afford great amounts of reflection. However, reflection is crucial in the Christian life. God has been working through His Word, people, and various circumstances to point out my bent toward certain sin issues, and for this I am grateful. I wish the process of sanctification was swifter, but, by God’s grace, I hope to continue to get specific about known sins, formulate strategies to systematically kill them, and continually bear the fruit of the Spirit and live in righteousness.
One final reflection is simple, but needful for my life: God is exactly who the Word of God says He is. Yes believe it or not, even guys who are working on PhD’s in theology can have a hard time believing the words they read and write and practically applying their faith (may God help us). I am praying this year that our faith may be such that when we read the Scriptures and see our great God that we would believe in the reality of who He is and all that He can do. This is not a call to some prosperity gospel, but a plea that you and I would believe in the greatness of God, who continually works on our behalf for our good and for His glory.
“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus, throughout all generations, forever and forever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21
May our new year be full of sin-killing, righteousness-building, and faith in our great God.