HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Here goes then. For the next year, I’ll be taking practical weekly steps to try to better live out my Christian faith. My New Year’s resolution, such as it is, is to become better at practicing than I am at preaching (which if you’ve heard me preach, isn’t a huge stretch). If this is all new to you, catch up on the original idea here, and see if you want to join in and make this your New Year’s resolution too. (And here are five ideas to make it really work for you)
Each week, I’m setting myself a challenge, each one designed to draw me closer to God, to get involved in His mission on earth, and to take a few risks along the way (no, I haven’t worked out all 52 yet!). I invite you to join me – if you like – and if you feel so inclined, to blog, tweet and talk about it along the way. There’s no cleverly-thought-out strategy behind this; I’m simply excited to see what God might do in and through me, and through anyone else who might choose to get involved.
The challenges will be largely based around three areas: the spiritual disciplines (in which I’ve become increasingly interested), practicing a Christ-like character (based on what I understand of the Jesus we find in the Gospels), and personal evangelism (something I’ve felt very challenged about recently). So it’ll be part spiritual formation, part missional adventure and hopefully, part fun. Who knows where the lines between those are anyway?
Anyway – enough introduction. Here’s the first challenge I’m going to undertake:
1: Perform an act of radical generosity.
One of the things that made the early church so remarkable was that they shared everything they had (Acts 4: 32-37). One of the things that makes us – the modern church – so unremarkable is that we’ve neatly forgotten this aspect of what it means to be a fellowship of believers. I know that I am the worst of all sinners in this area. I get so worried by my own bank balance, that I tend to ignore Paul’s reminder in 2 Corinthians 7 that ‘God loves a cheerful giver’, and either give sparingly or with anything but cheer. So this week, I’m going to ask God for an opportunity to be radically, and cheerfully generous. After all, he’s given a lot more for me than I could ever hope to give in return.
If you’d like to join me, then I’d suggest you identify the thing with which you find it most difficult to be generous – be that time, money or something else – and make that the focus of your action.
I will blog about what happens throughout the year (and tweet using the hashtag #God52) – but obviously on challenges like this one I’ll be more vague about the details!
That’s it then – we’re underway. I’m excited about the potentially life-changing year that lies ahead. If you decide to join me, then I trust God will move beyond all your expectations. And if not, I hope you enjoy watching me stumble through a year of doing what I can to grow closer to Him.