Today is the last day of 2012. The beginning of a new year is always an exciting time for me, as it presents a clean slate and a fresh set of opportunities. I’m a goals fanatic and have found it useful to have a theme to guide my planning for each year. Last year’s theme was, “Consume Less, Contribute More.” This year I have selected, “Take Action”. As a follower of Christ, nothing could be more important. As James said, we must be doers of the word, not merely hearers (James 1:22-25). If we are going to grow in our faith, we must act on the things Jesus told us to do.
Most of us know or have a pretty good idea of what it is we should be doing. Jesus has laid it out plainly in Scripture. In fact He summed it up neatly in Matthew 22:36-40 when He instructed us to love God with our whole being, and to love everyone else in the same way. Living a life of loving others means putting away any sense of selfishness and pride. We must recognize that this life is not about us. We were not created for our pleasure, but for God’s (Genesis 1:31; Psalm 104:31; Revelation 4:11). Everything we do should be with an attitude of service toward others in order that we might reflect the love of Christ and glorify Him. Jesus came to serve others (Mark 10:45), and this must be our purpose if we are serious about being His disciple.
Each of us has been created with action in mind. Ephesians 2:10 tells us that we were created to do specific works for the Kingdom of God. To simply learn about God and never apply our faith is dangerous. Jesus addressed these kind of people when He said that many will come to Him when they die expecting entrance into Heaven, but He will send them away because He never knew them (Matthew 7:21-23). Really getting to know someone means spending time with them, serving them, and putting their needs first. I challenge you to think of any relationship where this is not so. If we are to truly know and be known by Jesus, we must serve Him by taking action and obeying the words He spoke.
Taking action without a plan can be frustrating and futile. I encourage you to set a few concrete goals or at least plot some direction around the ways you will seek to serve God in the coming year. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve failed in the past; this is a fresh start, a chance to dive in deep. I’m not talking about setting a few New Year’s resolutions. I’m suggesting that you ask God to help you live each day of the next year with intention, with a desire to be His hands and feet in a world that is in rapid decay. Determine to do one act of service for someone else each day. Decide in advance to learn more about Jesus, and then to apply what you’re learning. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by; take action on the things you know Christ has called you to do. This is your moment. The New Year awaits.