“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, (Mark 1:17).
First, let me wish you all a “Happy New Year!” I actually hope that you have a blessed new year. Blessed is always better than happy. Happy is all about what is happening around us…blessed about what is going on inside us. Blessed usually includes happy. Happy doesn’t always include blessed.
How do we have a blessed year? I would suggest that one strategy would be to respond to the words of Jesus spoken in today’s text. It is one of the many times Jesus invited people to “Come!” For the early followers of Jesus, it involved leaving their jobs and security. They physically got out of the boat and followed him. How do we follow Jesus in our time?
Several years ago I read a simple prayer that went like this: “I have forfeited my agenda and embraced yours.” Something about the way those words fit together stuck with me. I wrote them down in my journal and dated the entry. It was 4/21/08. Dating the words was my way of affirming that they expressed the desire of my heart. Over the last three-and-a-half-plus years I have repeatedly read the words and dated them to re-affirm my desire. The dates have spilled over onto the surrounding pages of my journal as I ran out of room on the original page.
I am beginning 2013 by dating the phrase 1/1/13. I would like to challenge you to do the same. How can 2013 be blessed for you? Forfeit your agenda, and embrace His. I believe God has a plan for each of our lives for the coming year. It probably will be much different than the one we would come up with. If you have a journal, or a place where you write the ideas you want to remember and review, I would encourage you to write this phrase: “I have forfeited my agenda and embraced yours.” Every time you see it, tell God that this is your desire. If you do, I believe this will be a blessed year for you!