Posted by: pastortomvabeach | December 29, 2015

Thought For The Week January 3, 2016

As we enter a New Year, it often prompts us to look back on the year just past and reflect on where we’ve been and what we’ve done. As I look at 2015, I can pick out some highlights that make me feel good about how things went. But more often than not, I can also see areas that were not so pleasant, in terms of my accomplishments or, should I say, lack thereof.

If you are like me, you are your most prolific critic. Notice I didn’t say you are your own best critic, just the one who does it most. I tend sometimes to see what I haven’t done well or where I’ve failed much more prominently than where I’ve succeeded. I’d like to share something with you to help encourage you, if you are like me.

Our General Superintendent, Dr. George Wood, recently published a devotional book called Fearless, which is a verse-by-verse trip through Mark’s gospel. The opening thoughts of his book give us reason to hope when we mess up. Here’s a little of it:

“I once asked a biographer of a famous 20th century Christian how she would deal with an unfortunate incident in the life of the person she was writing about. Her reply: ‘I will give it all the attention those few moments merit considering an otherwise worthy and productive life.’ When the book was written, the failure was omitted. It didn’t merit mention. Not so with the man named Mark. His failure is written for us all to see; two of them in fact. Both relate to cowardice in the face of danger.

“The first is the incident told in Mark 14:51-52, a young man fleeing naked in the night from Gethsemane after the arrest of Jesus. The fact that Mark’s gospel alone records the incident telegraphs to us that it is an autobiographical reference. When the heat was on Jesus, Mark deserted. But that was not the only time.

“The second incident came when he abandoned Paul and Barnabas after the beginning of the first missionary journey (Acts 13:13). Paul completely lost confidence in Mark and refused to take him along on the second missionary journey (Acts 15:38).

“But thanks be to God, Mark’s failures did not define his life. He overcame them. In fact, he proved himself so well that during the apostle Paul’s incarceration in Rome while he waited execution, he summoned Mark because he is helpful to me in my ministry (II Timothy 4:11).

“Like Mark, you don’t have to let your failures define you. God wants to write His good news through you also! Mark overcame his failures, and the Spirit used him to write what we call the second gospel.”

Isn’t that encouraging to you? It is to me. My failures, trip-ups, missteps, don’t define my life. I can get up and move forward in the power of the Spirit and believe that God can use me to write His story for this generation. Are you ready for 2016? Do you believe that God can write the best part of His story in your life this year? I believe it for you! Let’s write together as we Make Jesus Known in 2016! Just a thought.

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