It’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone. The end of one year and the beginning of a new one is a great time to evaluate our lives and make sure we are on the right path. I would like to share with you four simple steps to make the most of 2019.
Step One: Look Back
Let’s begin by looking back at 2018. What were the significant events of the year? What were the highs? What were the lows? Let me encourage you to write them down. Make a list of what went well and what went wrong. I believe we can learn from our successes as well as our failures.
How did 2018 go for you? Rate it on a scale from 1-10. Let’s look back and learn all we can. But let’s not spend too much time dwelling on the past. The Apostle Paul said, “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14).
Step Two: Look In
After we look back, we need to look in. Check our hearts. How are we doing? How are our emotions? Are we still passionate about the most important things in our lives? How is our integrity? Our character? At the end of the day, who we are is way more important than what we do.
Psalm 139:23-24 says, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” After you and God have examined your life inside and out, make the changes that you need to make. Then, allow God to lead you down the right path toward eternal life.
Step Three: Look Ahead Look ahead.
What’s on the horizon? What’s coming up in 2019? What are your goals for 2019? Let me encourage you to set goals in four areas of your life. These four areas are based on Jesus’ life. “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man (Luke 2:52).”
1. Mental (Jesus grew in wisdom.) – No matter how old we are, we need to keep developing our minds. How many books will you read? Will you attend any conferences or seminars? Will you learn a new skill or hobby? Do you plan to travel? Seeing new places is so good for our brains.
2. Physical (Jesus grew in stature.) – It so important for us to take care of our bodies, the temple of the Holy Spirit. We want to live long lives, so we can be here for our kids and grandkids. Let me encourage you to set goals in the areas of sleeping, eating, and exercise.
3. Spiritual (Jesus grew in favor with God.) – How will you grow spiritually in 2019? You could set goals in your devotional life, church involvement, giving and serving. What are some things you can do to grow closer to God this year?
4. Relational (Jesus grew in favor with man.) – It sounds a little weird, but we need to set goals relationally. If you are single, you may want to set some dating goals. If you are married, you may want to set a goal of a weekly date night with your spouse. You could set goals for how much time you will spend with your kids and grandkids. You could set a goal to call your parents or a close friend once a week.
Step Four: Look Up
Colossians 3:1-2 says, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
I think it’s very important to set our hearts and minds on things above. Let’s make sure we are investing our time, talents and treasures in 2019 into the things that will last forever. I know that life can get really busy, but I love what Joshua said, “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15).” Let’s commit 2019 to the Lord and make it our best year yet.
Jonathan Howes has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance from Jacksonville State University and a Master in Divinity Degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the lead pastor for Graystone Church. Locations include the Ozora Campus: 1551 Ozora Road Loganville, GA 30052, the Walton Campus: 723 N Broad St Monroe, GA 30655 and the Oconee Campus: 1275 Lenru Road Bogart, GA 30622.
Phone: (770) 466-3159