Bible Reference: Colossians 3:12-14
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)
Bible Text: 12 You are always and dearly loved by God! So robe yourself with virtues of God, since you have been divinely chosen to be holy. Be merciful as you endeavor to understand others, and be compassionate, showing kindness toward all. Be gentle and humble, unoffendable in your patience with others. 13 Tolerate the weaknesses of those in the family of faith, forgiving one another in the same way you have been graciously forgiven by Jesus Christ. If you find fault with someone, release this same gift of forgiveness to them. 14 For love is supreme and must flow through each of these virtues. Love becomes the mark[k] of true maturity.[l]
OBSERVATION: Around this time of the year we begin to reflect on the accomplishments, failures, heartaches and missed goals of the year about to end, and many of us will begin to set goals for the incoming year. It’s always good to have something to reach towards, for without that, we might tend to merely exist and settle for anything that comes our way. What if we chose some spiritual goals for 2021? Let’s meditate on the ones listed in today’s Scripture and see what God might be directing us towards.
APPLICATION: I believe that we unconsciously set New Years’ goals for ourselves, depending on our audience at the time. For we tend to concentrate on spiritual goals when we are with God or His people; and we tend to drift more into financial and other personal goals when we are with our friends and family. This may not be a bad philosophy, but we might question ourselves as to why is there a need to compartmentalize depending on the audience. I believe that when God listens to the cry of His precious child’s heart, He listens for everything that might be troubling that child, or being celebrated by them. After all, if we are going through financial woes, don’t you know that subject will be foremost on our minds as cry out to God about our disappointments in 2020 and when we speak with God and seek His perfect will for our lives in 2021? On another note, don’t you know that our attitudes will be drastically impacted when we are struggling in our relationship with God? But isn’t it awesome to know that God is more than willing to speak with His children about all aspects of our life, as we seek His direction and try to establish goals for the New Year? After all, He’s the only One who truly knows what will transpire next year, so His guidance is vital. However friends, I believe that God has given us some virtues to concentrate on in the days ahead. Think about these things: be holy as our Father is holy; be merciful as we seek to understand others; be compassionate and show kindness to others, as you take the focus off self and all that you want; be gentle; be humble; be so patient with others that you would never offend them; learn to tolerate the weaknesses of believers, for you are also flesh and blood, and you could also easily fall short in multiple ways; God has forgiven you, so learn to also forgive others, especially for their faults; and love – remember, your love for others will be a sign of your maturity in Christ. Friends, can you imagine how much better our world will be, if we choose to seek God’s help in achieving these virtues in 2021? Can you imagine the reduction in stress levels for us individually when we strive for these goals? I believe that as we work towards these goals, we will see God also bless us with the other things He knows that we need, such as financial freedom; good decisions about people and events that we are a part of, etc. As our priority shifts towards our God and His righteousness, I believe that we will see more clearly how truly serious we are about Him, and be reminded of how gracious and kind He is to us.
PRAYER: Thank You Lord for saving my soul, thank You Lord for making me whole, thank You Lord for giving to me, Thy great salvation so rich and free! Your Word is a light unto our path oh Lord, may we read it, take it to heart and be obedient to it, with Your amazing help! As we depend on You for all that 2021 brings our way, may we never cease to stop asking You for help in living life here on earth as You intended for us. May others see Your virtues in us before we ever open our mouths to evangelize with words! AMEN!