PEERING INTO NEW HORIZONS
Anyone cognizant of world events has been forced to recognize that this is not a normal New Year. Soliloquizing about stepping across the threshold onto a new and clean slate just doesn’t cut it.
The year 2017 will be a pivotal point in history where people of faith need to burst through the open door with a sense of diligence, excellence and passion as found in the words of the apostle Paul:
And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
Notably, the word “do “used twice in the text translates from two different Greek words.
The first “do” (poieō) describes our sphere of activity; the second (ergazomai) describes how we are meant to function in life’s endeavors.
DILIGENCE AND EXCELLENCE IN ENDEAVORS
Whatever we do, therefore, must be done with diligent effort and must be of an excellent quality.
We are called to a life of action that stands in sharp contrast to lethargy, indifference or slip-shod performance.
People of faith must never be content to just get by with half-baked endeavors in service to the Lord.
Mediocrity is the antithesis of Paul’s admonition.
PASSION IN ENDEAVORS
Our endeavors—what we do— must emanate from our innermost being. The operative word in Paul’s succinct admonition is “heartily.” The Greek literally says “from the soul.”
All endeavors must be done with all of our life’s force behind them.
Paul calls us to live passionately.
Life is too short and the stakes too high for people of faith to live timidly or apathetically when confronting evil in today’s world.
The world desperately needs people of faith who live heartily, “as to the Lord” (v. 23).
In today’s culture, it is imperative that Christians live with the determination to make every word and deed count in service to the Lord.
PEERING INTO NEW HORIZONS
The challenges of the New Year are glaringly obvious as we scan the horizon of 2017.
The pervasive animus directed toward the Judeo-Christian community, Israel and by extension life as we know it in the Western world demands a clear and unified voice to provide biblical truth that counters misinformation and outright lies.
We face unprecedented challenges; however, it is also an extraordinary opportunity for those willing to passionately confront the complexities of our day-to-day reality. Every challenge provides the opportunity to demonstrate unwavering faith in the One-true God of Creation.
While challenges loom large before us, the relevance of the Word of God is still our best resource in not only gaining perspective, but offering solutions to the broad range of problems in the world.
What steps will you take to equip yourself to diligently and passionately present the truth with excellence to those in your sphere of influence?
In mentoring Timothy, Paul admonished:
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Tim 2:15).
It is essential for people of faith to internalize God’s Word. Only then, can we be assured that what we passionately do—will be approved by God.
As you celebrate the transition into the New Year, determine that, “whatever you do, [to] do it heartily, as to the Lord.” For people of faith, every word and action done in service to the Lord, “will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”
You can boldly face challenges with determination and seize the opportunities in the New Year! Resolve to live passionately and make a difference in 2017!
1) Black Sea Sunrise. No machine-readable author provided. [GFDL 1.2], via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios
2) Animation: Atmospheric Solar Corona. By Tom Ruen (Location: New Brighton, Minnesota) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios
Charles E. McCracken is an international Bible teacher, long-time friend of Israel and advocate for the Jewish people. With 40 plus years of ministry experience, Rev. McCracken is known for authenticity in communicating biblical truth that makes his presentations relevant for those seeking to understand the significance of Israel and the church in Bible prophecy. He staunchly supports the nation of Israel and the Jewish people’s right to exist and live in peace.
© Charles E. McCracken 2016, devotional comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author via Contact Form under ABOUT. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.