Hello, Beautiful People of South Georgia.
As we take those first steps into a new year we do so hopefully, with a sense of gratitude and great expectations. Some are grateful for the gift of life and hopeful that life will be more because unfulfilled dreams are realized. I would not be surprised that for many, the first days of a new year are met with a sigh of relief simply because one has survived another year. On the other hand, there are those who are so excited about the promises that the future holds and are just eager to get started.
How do you start the New Year? Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Have you grown disgusted over the years because you have not seen your hopes come to pass? I would suggest if you have a sincere desire to accomplish anything in the future you will need a plan.
A plan gives your dreams an anchor, a stake in the ground that serves as a steady reminder day in and day out as you juggle all the other important things of life. The greater the hope, the more challenges you will face as you move toward accomplishing your goal. I find it helpful to remember that as soon as Jesus was baptized he was led into the wilderness to be tested (Luke 4:1). Soon after we make our plans we too will find that there are more opportunities and invitations to go in the opposite direction of our heart’s desire. Therefore, every sincere hope must be cemented in a solid plan if it is to have a chance to succeed.
Not long ago I asked a young person what they were excited about in life. I continued with the question, “What are you passionate about?” The first response was met with laughter and the comment, “I do not know.” I reminded the young person that I believe all of us are here on this earth for a reason and that God has given each of us the talent we need to fulfill God’s plan for our lives. In the book of Jeremiah, chapter 29, verses 11-13, we hear again that God has a beautiful plan for us. “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’”
Just as you need a plan for better health, managing finances, finding more family time, or starting a new business, you also need a plan for being a disciple of Jesus Christ. And every congregation will need a plan in order to help members grow in disciple making.
The Disciple Covenant Conference is my invitation to the people called Methodist in the South Georgia Conference to meet me in Macon on February 11-12, where we will work on individual and congregational plans in order to become better disciples of Jesus Christ.
As we enter a new year, I pray that God’s plans for your life will be fulfilled and that God’s grace in your life will be met with a fresh commitment to follow through with a solid plan.
Make it a great new year!
Until next time remember, God’s will for us is good. We must do the rest.
James R. King, Jr.