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Who Will You Become In The Year Ahead?
December 26, 2016
“So follow the steps of the good, and stay on the paths of the righteous. For only the godly will live in the land, and those with integrity will remain in it.”
I pray you are still enjoying the afterglow of a holiday rich in Kingdom blessings!
I urge you, as Paul told Timothy, to continue stirring up the beautiful gifts God has placed within you (see 2 Tim 1:6) and savoring the abundance Christ came to provide (see John 10:10).
In this last week of 2016, take time to remember God’s faithfulness over the course of the year.
Most of us have our eyes fixed on the year ahead—and that’s a good thing!
I’ve been talking a great deal about what I believe will be historic opportunities for the people of God in the year ahead.
But as we rev our engines at the starting lines of 2017, let’s pause to take stock of how far we’ve come!
- What has God shown you over the course of the year?
- What setbacks or hurdles have you overcome?
Give yourself—and God—some credit for where you are now!
Whether you’ve achieved some notable accomplishments, or you’re still climbing what feels like a steep hill…
…if you’re here, you’re still in the game either scoring or about to!
And whether or not you feel like you’re the one making touchdowns…
...if you’re walking in the love of God, you’re part of a winning team.
You are in the world to make a world of difference wherever you are standing.
All you have to do is shine. All you have to do is be the light you are already wired to be—either in your place of work, in your family, or on the street where you’re walking, or driving, or doing business.
Wherever you are in the world, you are there to light it!
It’s like that old saying: “Wherever you go, there you are!”—wherever in the world you find yourself is exactly where in the world you are called to be the light.
It’s not complicated.
As human beings, we tend to overcomplicate things. But what we are called to do in this world is quite simple: Walk. In. Love.
Love fulfills all the requirements of religion and the law (see Romans 13:10). In fact, there is nothing that matters more. (See 1 Cor. 13:3.)
Our very faith is founded on and works by love. (See Galatians 5:6.)
“The important thing is faith—the kind of faith that works through love.”
Galatians 5:6 ERV
So as we put another year behind us, and begin dreaming about the next, I invite you to examine your love walk.
What kind of faith are you building your life, goals, dreams, and legacy on?
In fact, let’s talk about the integrity of your faith.
Integrity is defined as moral uprightness, virtue, honor, righteousness, and good character.
“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.”
Proverbs 11:3 NIV
It is also defined as the state of being whole and undivided—not double-minded or “duplicitous.”
This is important, because we are told in James that those who are double-minded will receive nothing from the Lord. (See James 1:6-8.)
I don’t know about you, but I’m hoping to receive a great deal from the Lord!
“For in him we live and move and have our being.”
We can’t expect to have more until we are willing to become more.
Becoming more in the Kingdom of God begins with character. “Of all the tasks which are set before man in life,” wrote 19th century historian, William Lecky, “the education and management of his character is the most important.”
“And, in order that it should be successfully pursued,” Lecky added:
“It is necessary that he should make a calm and careful survey of his own tendencies, unblinded either by the self-deception which conceals errors and magnifies excellences, or by the indiscriminate pessimism which refuses to recognize his powers for good.”
In other words, take stock of who you are becoming: Be willing to speak the truth to yourself in love (see Ephesians 4:15), remembering God is faithful to complete every good work He begins!
“He who has begun a good work in you will complete it.”
God will complete the good work He has begun in you by building your capacity to walk in greater degrees of honor, righteousness, and love—by strengthening the integrity of your character.
Integrity is the last of our ten core values that we’ve been discussing throughout this ten-week series, and it’s the perfect value to consider as we pause to reflect on the year behind us and the year ahead:
We believe that the favor of God is directly connected to our obedience, character, honesty, and transparency. We strive to maintain Christian ethics that reflect the culture of the Kingdom of God and the personality of our Creator as described in the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23
How are you reflecting the character of God?
As you prepare to head into this next year, think about who you are becoming. What kind of things will people say about who you are—about the kind of spirit they see reflected in you?
How do you want to be known this time next year?
Think about that legacy.
Rather than a to-do list of accomplishments or experiences, think about who you want to become in the year ahead…think about how you want to be known.
This is your personal brand. That is what will define the legacy you leave, the lives you influence, and the impact you’ll have.
How will God’s love be made known through you…be perfected in you?
“Eagerly pursue and see to acquire [this] love [make it your aim, your great quest].”
1 Corinthians 14:1 AMP
Living a life ruled by the love of God is what integrity is all about. It is what opens you up to the favor and blessings and power of God and positions you to transform the atmosphere, environment, and culture around you.
It is how you continually dwell in God’s powerful presence where there is infinite freedom, peace, wisdom, provision, healing, and fullness of joy.
“If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us.”
1 John 4:12