It is crazy to see what one year will do to you. In a year so many things have transpired in my life and God has taken a life that was once useless and breathed life into it. What is so interesting about this walk, and it is something we all know, yet tend to forget, is that it is never over. We never stop growing, we never stop leaping, we never stop feeling pain, we never stop wrestling, we never stop being pruned, it is a lifelong journey, a race.
I've heard people say it in the past, "I'm glad this thing is a race and not a sprint," and often thought I knew what they meant. I'll never know it to its truest form, however, I will say I agree. I am so glad this thing is a race, I'm so glad God is never finished, I'm so glad I still have work to do. I think a lot of us (myself included) make a common mistake of looking back and allowing past successes to sustain us. It's to say, "Well, I am better than I was last year," and then it happens, we become ok with it, almost as if it satisfies our core to be content with our progress and act as if that's it.
If this year has shown me anything, it is this: God's not finished. The only thing God has finished is the work of the cross, as far as you are concerned, you're not finished until He says you are, until He calls you home.
1 Thess 4:1 Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God;
Abound more and more. We aren't finished.
1 Thess 4:9 But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; 10 and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more;
Increase more and more. We still aren't finished.
What's interesting about verse 10 is verse 9. Paul is acknowledging that the church at Thessalonica did indeed have love and plenty of it, however, there was still room for growth and there always will be.
We in our own power will never be able to keep up and our efforts alone won't suffice for what God has called us to.
"No natural love, no natural patience, no natural purity can ever come up to His demands. But as we bring every part of our natural bodily life into harmony with the new life God has placed within us, He will exhibit in us the virtues that were characteristic of the Lord Jesus." - Chambers
Learn to love more, learn to live more, learn to hope more, learn to read more, learn to laugh more, learn to smile more, learn to trust more, learn to pray more, learn to accept trials more, learn to listen more, learn to think more, learn to believe more.
A lot of us can read that and allow that alone to keep us from continuing, we get discouraged, but that shouldn't happen. Remember that it is God's desire to mature you and mold you into the vessel of honor He desires to have, so praying and desiring more maturity is praying and desiring His will.
1 Thess 4:3a For this is the will of God, your sanctification:
Let 2011 be a year where we set ourselves even farther apart from this world and come closer to knowing God.
Love you guys.