Every year I put together a net-out of the biggest, best-est things I personally learned over the year. Below is my list for this year (view past years here). I hope it might help you or at least be interesting . . .
- God wants me to become more aware of His presence . . . and His silence. He doesn’t want me to connect His silence with my I might not know or understand why God sometimes chooses to be silent. But even in silence, He’s always there and always paying attention.
- There are three elements of prayer: 1) what I say, 2) what He says, 3) and communion . . . being in His presence. All three are important and are a part of an intimate, personal relationship with God.
- Sometimes, praising people in front of others can inspire more than just those you’re praising. In Matthew 25, only one servant was told “well done,” but all the servants heard the Master’s praise. Maybe those words simultaneously inspired the other servants toward greater things in their lives and work.
- Our family was built along the way of our journey with Jesus. I had a part, but it happened because of a father and mother’s love for God and His Word and through their obedience. Family isn’t a to-do, a project, or a priority. It is a byproduct of intentionally following Jesus.
- Because I belong to the family of God, I am included in the union of the Trinity. When I’m with God in the afterlife, I can still be present with my loved ones when they worship Him.
- The direction the modern-day church is moving is to create smaller “ekklesias” where people are known and needed. Where people learn how to follow Jesus as a way of life.
- Three sets of magic words can change the tone and trajectory of a marriage . . . “You’re probably right.” “Could you use a few more words so I can better understand?” “What can I do to help?”
- Jesus knowing me is more important than me knowing Jesus. When I read John 10:27, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me,” I imagine Jesus seeing my face and recognizing me. Knowing me by sight. Calling my name. My knowing Jesus is a lifetime pursuit. Jesus knowing me happens in a moment. 1 John 4:15 says, “If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.”
- It’s impossible to trust someone unless you know they love you. Said another way, when you know someone loves you, it’s easier to deal with the things that come up in that relationship. Disappointments happen, but there’s security in knowing that no matter how it looks or feels, you are loved, and you can trust in that love. God’s love is the least talked about, but the most important fact in the universe. Look back over your life, and you’ll find example after example of His extraordinary love expressed toward you. When we dwell in the knowledge that He loves us so, it’s far easier to trust Him when things don’t go the way we want them to.
- We’ll do more to avoid the shame of our sins than to avoid the sin in the first place. Sin is a fact. Shame is a feeling. We’re more motivated by feelings than facts. Spend more time thinking about the shame that waits downstream from stupid decisions you’re about to make. Shame is real. Paralyzing. Debilitating. Avoid the shame by avoiding the sin that creates the shame.
Happy New Year!
Question: What game-changers did you learn in 2019?