Closing of the year
This year, 2020, has been difficult. It has brought forth emotions, change, upheaval and most of all, uncertainty. It would be so easy to write this last 366 days, yes it is a leap year, off as a memory we would rather forget, but what if it held some value? What if this year of highs and lows was an opportunity to reset how we think of gratitude an thankfulness?
I chose the name of this post, Year End Yield, because yield can mean two different, but very relevant things. One is slowing down to take caution and the other is figuring out how much a harvest produced compared to what was planted.
Oh how easy it would be to go on and on about how 2020 caused us all to take caution. This year has tested me and my faith deeply. I am very much an extrovert, so telling me to stay home is like slowly sucking the air out of the room. Not only that, but not being able to be involved with student ministry as much as I would like has rocked me to the core. The life that I now live is VASTLY different from even one year ago. With Thanksgiving still fresh in my mind though, I can’t help but think about how easily we fall into this pattern of self pity because we have minor inconveniences come upon us. We focus so much on the negative throughout the year that focusing on the positive is foreign. It does not have to be this way though!
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.Romans 12:1-2
Here is the thing, Romans makes me think long and hard about a lot of things. Specifically these verses. We are not to conform to this world, so why would I constantly focus on the negative? We are to be transformed, so why are we stuck in our old ways? We are to offer ourselves as living sacrifices, so why to we try to please this world?
See, taking the time to yield as we head into this new year and Christmas time is a HUGE opportunity to take a spiritual inventory. Seriously, think back through this year. When you do, do you remember relying on your own strength or God more often? When you think of this year, did you live in fear? What do you have to be afraid of!? God is the only one we should fear. He sent His one and only Son in the form of a baby to earth to save us.
What was your yield?
When thinking about yield, some might think of how much a chemical reaction yields, or how much a stock yields, or maybe even how much an acre of produce yields, but what about our fruit? No, I am not talking about the juicy apples or oranges. I am talking about the fruit of the spirit. Did you see the spirit working through you this year?
Maybe during this time of hardship, you have found it easier to share the gospel with those who are struggling around you. What were the results of sharing the gospel? If they were positive, don’t be afraid to rejoice in that! In fact the party thrown at the end of, Luke 15:11-32, should be how we should rejoice when someone who is lost becomes found. Write these things down and hang them on your wall, not to brag, but to remind yourself to continue on in the work Jesus commissioned us to do.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.Matthew 5:14
So in this toilet paper filled, pandemic stricken, uncertain world, we NEED to choose joy. Jesus said that we are the light of the world! So go shine like the glow of wildfires! Oh….to soon? Okay….well, you get the point, NOW GO!
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