As I have shared with you before, I absolutely love this time of year.
I know that it is grey and cold, the paycheck is weeks away and Christmas sugar withdrawal is kicking in, but I love it anyway. I love all the potential and possibilities of a new year. I love setting goals and objectives. I love writing it all down in colourful new notebooks, the pages as untouched as the days of 2020 out ahead of me.
And some of my resolutions will be quite successful; some will not. Nonetheless, an annual reset is a valuable tool and this time of year can be motivating and fruitful.
But there is something else that is true, albeit a little less exciting.
Galatians 6.9 reminded me this morning that I must never, ever get tired of doing good.
It is easy to get bored of doing the same thing, however good it is. It is easy to lose motivation in the middle of service. New and shiny opportunities often eclipse more worn responsibilities and commitments. It is always more fun to redecorate than to clean up.
But this is just another way in which our faith is counter-intuitive. Following Christ consists of both obedience to ancient truths and listening for the fresh whisper of God’s Spirit every day. We are called to be faithful in often mundane ways while we were are believing for the miraculous. It is quiet, humble service that positions us for greater influence and it is character, not charisma, that gets God’s attention.
So, January is also a good time to remember what God has already said, His promises, challenges, encouragements and commands. It is a good time to read over old sermon or conference notes. What struck you as important or rang uncomfortably true in 2019? What words or scriptures pierced your heart when you heard them? What personal promises were you given? What brought conviction? What good things did you hear that you have not yet put into practice?
You see when Galatians tells us to never get tired of doing good, the word not only has the meaning of what is right and moral, but also what is beautiful.
Doing the same-old good is so beautiful.
Faithfulness is lovely.
Obedience is stunning.
There is immense value in tending to the things God has already planted in your life while you believe for new things from His hand.
There is divine beauty in blooming where you are already planted.
And, there is a kind of faithful living that makes room for more of what God wants to do.
If we can resist the temptation to devalue things God has already told us to do, we actually position ourselves for new blessings. Because obedience can feel very ordinary until it reaps what it has sown. And as Galatians 6.7 reminds us, it always does.
Sowing faithfully will reap new opportunities. Choosing to value what God has already said, will give us ears to hear new promises. Taking small responsibilities seriously will prepare us for bigger ones; unseen service will make way for honour.
So take some time today to remember some things God has already spoken to you. These promises and commands, however old, are worthy of a place in a new notebook. They are beautiful. Take time to remember the things God did for you in 2019 and to thank Him. Put a high value on ordinary, everyday obedience. It is precious to the heart of God. Honour every word God has spoken to you and make continued obedience a priority.
And decide that when new opportunities and blessings come in this new year, you will be found beautifully tending to what God has already given.