I think of blind Bartimaeus in Mark 10. Jesus had come to Jericho with his disciples and might have already passed the blind beggar once on the roadside. Then as a crowd passed Bartimaeus this time to leave the city, he learned that Jesus was among them and was immediately animated. He yelled “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Those around him rebuked him telling him to be silent. Scripture says “but he cried out all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’” Jesus stopped, called to the man, and asked him what he wanted. After hearing his request to see and seeing his faith, Jesus healed him there on the spot. Bartimaeus’ response was to follow Jesus along the road.
What faith! Bartimaeus trusted that Jesus was who he said he was and this produced both an internal boldness and an external faith through action – he yelled out for the Son of David, the Messiah, with a laser-focus.
What keeps us from living life on purpose? Are we asleep? I dare say it’s ease to barely-recognize time passing. We only notice that we’re in a new year because we’ve had our annual 3-months’ worth of holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Year’s) in rapid succession. We either slowly enter our rhythms again, returning to the normal hum of life like a bear out of hibernation or we barely pause, stripping off 2016 like an old band-aid.
Consider the year ahead, you have been given the very Spirit of God to live a life that reflects the Son of God, being a witness of all that God has done. Hold on to your purpose with laser-focus. Don’t let this year pass by. Live in such a way that those around you know that you believe Jesus is who he said he is.
See Paul’s focus here: “[Christ] we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me” (Colossians 1:28-29).
Regardless of what city Paul was in or what he was doing, whether making tents, visiting a Gentile family, sitting in a local synagogue with Jews, or chained to a Roman guard on house arrest, he toiled and struggled with God’s energy (I love that) and to see what?…see everyone mature in Christ.
I don’t want 2017 to pass and find myself in the same place…having learned and practiced little about my faith in Christ twelve months later. Instead, let us press into him, calling out to the Son of God to remove our spiritual blindness and free us to more faithfully follow him.
Proclaim Christ through warning and teaching others. Many people we do life with are dying without hope. Many more are entering eternity having never known a Christian. They know nothing of the coming judgment for having rejected Christ all their lives. Jesus himself said it clearly in Mark 1 when he began his public ministry “…the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (verse 15). We must warn others and then “teach them to observe all that [Jesus] has commanded…” (Matthew 28:20), helping them apply truth to their daily lives.
Have you come out of 2016 with great highlights? Apathy? Loss? Faithfulness? Victory? Suffering?
Call out to Jesus…cling to Jesus. We want to see this one and only life through his eyes. We want to see others warned of judgment and taught about the person of Jesus Christ and how to have eternal life in him.
Seek the Lord. Ask him to help you live on purpose. Set aside some days this month to fast and pray specifically about how God might use you to point others to Christ this year.
My prayer for you is that you will not be the same person a year from now. May God grow you, stretch your faith, and increase your affections this coming year, filling your mouth with His praises and your life as a witness to the praise of his glory. I pray that there will be a mission behind every step you take.
Encompass World Partners’ Mobilization Team seeks to mobilize and equip people and churches who are following Jesus into the missional work he’s doing to make disciples of all nations. You can contact Encompass’ mobilization team at firstname.lastname@example.org.