Kickstart change

Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
- Luke 2:51-52

One of the most maddening features of the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life is how they skip over almost all of his childhood and young adulthood. But it does contain one story of a conflict between him and his parents during his pre-teen years (read Luke 2 to see it play out).

At the end of that story, Jesus returns to Nazareth and honors his parents. We’re told that he “grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”

This time of year many of us will ponder making resolutions to live life differently in 2017. The changes that take place in our lives might have a tremendous impact on our relationships and our participation in God’s kingdom. Let’s look at some examples:

  • Losing a little weight may give you energy to care for someone who’s struggling
  • Reading a few extra books may give you wisdom to answer someone’s questions about faith
  • Decluttering you home may give you a space you can use to host a friend and help them dream about what God wants them to do with their life.

Here are five questions to help you get started

What is one thing you’d like to change in your life in 2017? Don’t pick a dozen things. Anything worth changing will require focus.

What will happen if you change that one thing you’d like to change in 2017? Change ain’t easy. You’ve got to know that it’ll be worth it if you’re going to persevere in pursuing change.

What can you do every day to advance that change you’re hoping to make? Once-a-week habits are helpful, but lasting change rests on daily commitments.

Who can you enlist to help you pursue this change? Even one accountability partner, one cheerleader, one person who believes you can do it can make a tremendous difference.

Finally, (and we’ll look at this in depth tomorrow) in what ways do you need God to be involved in the change you’re hoping to make? God stands at the center of every worthwhile pursuit. Invite him into your change efforts and see what a difference he makes.

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