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This New Year

By Missey Butler
Guest Writer -- Every year we watch as that grand illuminating ball slowly ascends upward, poised in the middle of Time Square. At the stroke of midnight, the roar of “Happy New Year” bellows forth into the cold, brisk air as thousands of on-lookers celebrate the time honored tradition of bringing in the new year there in the “Big Apple,” New York City.

I, myself have never been one for making very many New Year’s resolutions. My track record begins to speak volumes whenever I start to have that notion. But this year, I’ve decide to concentrate on one thing.

I’ve decided to make my focus the very same as the Apostle Paul’s “one thing” spoken about in the book of Philippians when he said:

“Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining forward to what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13-14).

I love simplicity. So, when you speak to me about the possibility of accomplishing “one thing” opposed to “many things,” I’m all ears. Paul goes on to say that only the more mature will take this kind of view. My ears suddenly perk up again, Oh, so only the mature, huh?

Then it goes on to say,

“And that at some point if you should begin to think differently, God Himself will make it clear” (Philippians 3:15).

Wow, that just tells me that God thinks this “one thing” is pretty important also. So what exactly is this exclusive goal?

Paul says that his goal is to know Christ, to be like Christ, and to win Christ (Philippians 3:8). We are to strive for single mindedness. Just like the determined athlete who lays aside everything harmful and forsakes anything that may try and distract him from achieving his one aim … to win the trophy!

I have decided to no longer allow my past to dictate what my future will look like. Instead, I will focus on growing in the grace and the knowledge of who I am in Christ. My victory is not something to be attained, but rather, a person to be realized! That person is the Christ in me! Everything I need or will ever need, I already have “in Him!”

Paul challenges us to pursue Christ-likeness by following His own personal lead. Why don’t we all make it our goal this New Year, to strive to cross the finish line and take home that glorious prize, that is even now … set before us?

What better way to bring in the New Year than to set our sites heavenward?

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