The new year has begun, and many people are hard at work getting into shape, eating better, reading their bibles. It always happens this time of the year. I saw this on facebook and thought I'd share it with you:
Funny! And yet, I wonder how many of us have really stepped back long enough to evaluate our own path. When we bought our home in Elkton years ago, we decided to plant a garden. My neighbor kindly came by and plowed up the earth. What we found underneath that grass was hard, red, clay! If you live here in Virginia you know what I'm talking about!
In any case, we went through a process of tilling, adding other soils and working the ground 'till it would work for a garden. As a part of that process, we enlisted the help of the local ag extension to test the soil. We needed to find out what it needed and what it had in it.
Your life is very much like that soil. You've had all kinds of things come INTO your life and you've had other things go OUT. The question is, if you wanted a harvest of righteousness and goodness in the coming year, what would you have to do to prepare your soil, and what would you decide to plant? None of us should expect to harvest anything other than what we sown into our lives.
With that in mind, I want to encourage you to prayerfully and thoughtfully reflect on what you're sowing and reaping in 2017. On Saturday evening, I shared an outline of ways to review your life, and then I challenged each person to write down "seed they're sowing" in three areas of their lives.
- Life (How will you sow into the soil of you so that you reap a life of Freedom and Joy?)
- Connection (What will you do to pursue connection? All of us need to be connected to the local church, connected to friends who are supportive, connected to our purpose and calling.)
- Engagement (How will you pursue a meaningful life of engaged ministry. Once you're experiencing fullness of life and connected with your church family and your calling, how will you practically engage for Kingdom Advancement?)
To be sure, those aren't simplistic areas to pursue, but real life questions to answer. I am praying for all of you that this year God will lead you in each of these facets. Growth and fruit can come from many areas; engaging in a new ministry, pursuing life in a small group, renewing daily prayer and devotional life, asking God for his manifest presence in your daily life and expecting Him to answer ... the list is long.
As for me, one of the things I have done at the beginning of this year is the selecting of 12 books I'll read by the end of the year. Maybe you have a book list too? Here's my list:
I pray that in 2017 each of us will truly LIVE, CONNECT and ENGAGE for the glory of God.