Good Morning Everyone (or “afternoon” if you’re on the East Coast).

Usually, at the end of the year, I like to reflect. I think it’s important for everyone to take a look at themselves and see where they succeeded, where they failed, and for the Christian, see where God has taken us throughout the year and how that has sanctified us. But this year, I’d like to do something a little different.

This year, I’m going to call YOU to do something. I’ll be doing it along with you, but this year, my “end of the year” post will be about you.

So, if you consider yourself a Christian today, I’d like you to ponder these few questions and do a few things for me (and really, for yourself).

P.s. Grab a pen and paper. You’ll need it. Oh, and don’t share your answers here on my post. Just write them down for yourself.

  1.  Just off the bat, who can you pray for right now? Is there anyone in some bad situations right now that, off the top of your head, you know needs prayer and a little extra love? Go pray for them (right now) and then write down some ways to spread some extra love to them.
  2. What are some things you can praise God for in 2016? Write the down and spend some time in prayer thanking God for his blessings.
  3. On the flip side, what are some of the trials you faced in 2016? Write those down and spend some time praying over them. Ask God for guidance and gratefulness. If you find yourself out of those trials, thank God. If you’re still in, pray that God uses them for good and for your further sanctification.

And now, some tough questions. For those that don’t know, I plan on writing a book about transparency in the church (or lack there of). So, the theme for 2017 (for me, at least) will be transparency. I don’t know about you, but in the SIX YEARS I’ve been saved, I can name the amount of people who were 100% transparent with me on one hand…and that’s not good (and extremely damaging to the church, by the way).

So here are your questions and your actions:

  1. Where do you struggle? What are some sins you find yourself wrestling with? Write those down and then try to find resources to help. (By the way, if you struggle with addictions or anything under the umbrella of “sexual sin”, I’ll post some resources at the end of this article).
  2. Where are you strong?  Who can you mentor in this area? For example, let’s say you’re really passionate about prayer. I mean, you eat, sleep, and breath prayer. Ask around at your church and look for someone to mentor who struggles with prayer. Let’s say you struggle with prayer, but you’re really good at spending time in the Word and explaining it to others. Look for someone to mentor you in prayer, but look for someone to mentor in spending time with the Word. You can see where I’m going with this.
  3. Who do you need to forgive? (I know, it’s hard). Think about people who have wronged you this year (and really, ever). Who do you need to forgive? If you can’t forgive them on your own (and chances are, you can’t), ask God to help you forgive them.
  4. Who do you need to ask for forgiveness? The truth is, we all have wronged people too. Take some time to think and pray through this, ask God for forgiveness, then ask those people for forgiveness.

There will be plenty of posts in 2017 about transparency and why these things are important, but for now, think about these questions and write down your answers. Spend time in prayer and ask God for guidance. Let us be a people known for our love and not our hate. Let us be known for an inexplicable love for one another and for “outsiders”. Let us light up the world with a love that could only come from Christ.

Let there be light. Amen.

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