I John 3:16-18: "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. (NIV)
2013 is preparing to pass fully into the history books of our past and 2014 lies on the horizon of our future. How did 2013 pass so swiftly and how did I spend all of the time that God permitted me to have is a question that is present in my heart this morning? Was I profitable servant in the Kingdom of God? Did I spend my life wisely? Was I foolish with the resources (both natural as well as spiritual) that God provided for me to use? Did I share the Good News of the Gospel with others around me? Did I love my neighbor as I should have loved them? Did my love for God grow stronger or did my love for God grow more distant and less passionate? Did I love my wife and family with commitment and faithful concern?
I could continue writing questions such as these for the remainder of the day and never fully address all of them. But I only have a few more hours to answer the "Did I" questions. The calendar is about to change and the questions will no longer be "Did I"; the questions will change to "Will I." Will I allow the Spirit and the Word to make the proper adjustments in my life so that I will live pleasing to the Heavenly Father? The "Did I" questions will be limited to the historical archives of my past. The past is behind me and I can only control the decisions and actions of the future. I must focus on those future opportunities and allow the Spirit to teach me the error of my ways. I do not know what the future will hold but I do know that I can trust God to lead me if I will take full advantage of His shepherding in my life. He will lead if I will follow.
I am asking God that 2014 will be a year in which my actions will match my words. An old quote says that "Words are cheap." God is looking for people of action and not just people who know the right words to say. I truly believe that God is calling us to be people of right and Biblical actions in 2014. These proper actions will glorify the Father and allow the world to recognize that we are truly "living out" the mandate of a true relationship with God. We do not get to hit the rewind button on 2013 but we do have the opportunity to move forward into a deeper walk with Christ as we prepare to enter 2014. Do not live in the land of "Did I" but move into the promise land of "I will."