Restart a purpose filled life in 2022 by making crucial connections. Especially if you’re reflecting on life decisions and making resolutions for the New Year. Here are five connections for you to consider.
Restart A Purpose Filled Life By Connecting To Your Physical Health
Of course you expected this one. Because your physical health affects so many areas of well-being. Your strength, energy and activity level. Positive outlook. Self-concept. And more. But it requires perseverance. Self-discipline. A bit of stubbornness.
Need some inspiration? Here are two real life examples I observe regularly at my workout facility.
An 80+ year old man that hobbles in on crutches every day. Climbs on a stationary bike and rides. Then hobbles out when he’s finished. He never complains. And always smiles and gives me a friendly greeting.
An engaged couple. The woman’s legs severely injured in an auto accident. The man brings her in a wheel chair early in the morning several times a week to the indoor pool. Where she can stand in the water and they exercise together in the shallow end.
The point is you don’t have to run marathons or lift massive weights to benefit from exercise. Do what you can. Something. No matter how small it seems. It makes a difference.
Restart A Purpose Filled Life By Connecting To Your Mind
Your mind is a mental muscle. A cognitive, conundrum solver. Reasoning reservoir. And designed for regular use. So engage in thought practices that go for walks around the intellectual block.
Because your brain is the most awesome computer ever created. Pliable and dynamic. A renewable resource with amazing, conceptual capacity and restoration power.
So read books. Listen to podcasts. Solve puzzles. Engage in creative enterprise.
In other words, think regularly.
Restart A Purpose Filled Life By Connecting To God
You are created by God for a relationship with God. It’s your original design. Your ultimate purpose. And you will never fully realize it outside of God. So if God is non-existent in your life, or has taken a back seat, it’s the most critical connection you can make.
The connection process is the same as in other relationships. Admit you were wrong. Ask forgiveness. And proactively invest time in renewing the relationship.
Here’s a simple suggestion: Spend 15 minutes a day reading through the Gospel of John. Ask God to speak to you. Write your thoughts down in a notebook. Then speak to Him.
You see? It’s not that complicated.
And you’ll be amazed how this time spent with God centers you. Calms you. And changes your perspective on life.
Restart A Purpose Filled Life By Connecting To God’s People
Mass isolation during the pandemic taught us an important lesson. We are not designed for isolation, but for community.
Sure. Some are introverts and others extroverts. But none of us do well alone for extended periods of time.
Online church served a purpose. And so did connecting through Social media, Facetime and Zoom. But none of them take the place of live, face-to-face, interpersonal relationships.
So find togetherness in community. In neighborhoods, clubs, social and civic organizations. And my absolute favorite. The church.
It’s the Bride of Christ. God’s chosen community for His called out ones. A place of belonging, encouragement, support and accountability.
Reconnecting with God and living a godly life is best accomplished among others who share that desire. So if you are not involved in a church, I highly recommend it.
Restart A Purpose Filled Life By Connecting To ServingOthers
The universe is vast. Perhaps infinite. And you are not the center of it. So a purposed filled life connects to a greater purpose. And looks beyond itself by considering and addressing the needs of others. Which is why Jesus commands us to love others as we love ourselves.
Because a self-absorbed life will miss the big picture. And always struggle to find purpose and meaning.
By serving others you experience real humility. The joy of contributing to human flourishing. And are better able to see and appreciate your own blessings.
These connections are not difficult. But do require honest introspection, persistence, and resolve. But then, isn’t that what a resolution is all about?
There is life renewing power in Biblical repentance. No matter what you’ve done. Haven’t done. How good or bad you are. Or think you are. Biblical repentance starts a whole new life.
Wow! Why then doesn’t everyone repent? Maybe because Biblical repentance is misunderstood. So let’s look at what Biblical repentance is and the life renewing opportunity it presents.
The Life Renewing Power In Biblical Repentance Begins With A Decision
There’s a popular sterotype of red-faced preachers, worked up in an angry frenzy, pounding on pulpits and demanding congregants to repent from sin. It’s an image that promotes condemnation and fear. And often turns people away from the Christian faith.
While Jesus never condemned people for their sin, he clearly called them to repent. And his message holds true today. So what did he mean?
The Greek word for repent that Jesus used is Metanoeo, which means to change one’s mind. But even more, it’s a change in direction. A spiritual U-turn that turns away from sin and turns to God.
You may experience emotions when you repent. The Apostle Paul discusses a Godly sorrow that leads to repentance. But emotion is not a requirement.
What IS required is to engage your will. For you to willingly profess and actively follow Jesus Christ.
The Life Renewing Power In Biblical Repentance Involves A Life Long Practice
Also, repentance is not one and done. Yes, there is an initial change of mind. A decision to turn from sin and turn to God. Declare your willingness to follow Jesus as the Son of God. And in that moment you are spiritually renewed and transformed from the inside out.
But you’re not done. You will have to repent on a regular basis for the rest of your life. Because your past doesn’t simply dissolve. There are experiences, pain, emotions and scars that remain. And perhaps consequences of behavior.
Yes, you are new and transformed. But old patterns of behaviors and habits will present themselves. Along with the temptations of a real, spiritual enemy who wants you to fail. And while God’s Spirit now resides in you, so does your sin nature. So you won’t win every battle over sin.
But you will experience ultimate victory. Because God’s forgiveness and mercy are overflowing. So repenting on a regular basis becomes an important practice in ongoing spiritual renewal.
The Life Renewing Power In Biblical Repentance Is A Spiritual Partnership
The Prodigal Son Bible parable pictures God as a loving father who desires a relationship with you. Who waits eagerly for your homecoming, rushes to meet you and celebrates your return.
It confirms that repentance is not just one way event. But the start of a dynamic relationship. Where God is an active agent. Who calls you to repent. Might even be calling you now. Are you listening?
And beyond repentance, God’s Spirit empowers you. Intercedes on your behalf. And guides you on a spiritual journey of discovering and following His will.
There will still be hardships, challenges and setbacks. Jesus warned that discipleship has costs. But at the same time, it’s a forward moving journey. One with a promise and a prize.
What if heaven is real? It’s a question you’ve probably asked. We all have. And maybe you’ve reached a satisfying conclusion. Or you’re still weighing on it. Or perhaps, simply choosing not to think about it. At least, until you have to.
But if heaven is real, then it means something to the here and now. And should impact your life in some manner. So if heaven is real, then here are three things for you to consider.
If Heaven Is Real It Should Give You A Positive Perspective On Life
Life is full of questions. Some we can answer, some we can’t. And what happens after we die…if anything…is the greatest, unsolved mystery of all. It weighs on us. Unsettles us. Even haunts us. Especially as the end of life draws closer.
And despite all our scientific achievements. Life enduring medical breakthroughs. Technological advancements. End of life is always there. Waiting. And the question of “what’s next?” teases us like a fishing lure, trolling always just out of reach.
But if heaven is real, the question is answered, the mystery solved and the issue settled. Well, maybe not completely settled. You still have to figure out the entrance requirements.
Also, when things in life go haywire, you have something to cling to. Look forward to. An attitude game changer and eternal perspective that eases life’s burdens.
And you possess one of the most powerful, motivating forces on earth. Hope.
If Heaven Is Real You Should Pay Attention To What Jesus Said About It
As a matter of fact, heaven is mentioned in fifty-four books of the Bible. And Jesus discusses it around 70 times just in the book of Matthew. Not like it’s a fantasy or wishful thinking. But like it’s real. Like he’s been there. And making sure it’s ready for us too.
Furthermore, he describes it and the path to get there. And makes it sound like a really cool place to spend eternity. He describes another not so cool place to spend eternity too. But let’s stay on topic.
Then again. Will we sit on clouds playing harps? Probably not. Besides, sounds boring anyway.
Most likely, heaven is about relationships. Living with Jesus. And in harmony with other people. You get the sense there’s purpose and meaning to life in heaven. Also, I’m hopeful golf might still be a thing, but we’ll see.
If Heaven Is Real It Should Give You A Sense of Mission
However, first make sure you understand the entrance requirements and that you qualify. The real qualifications surprise a lot of people. Especially if you think they involve doing enough good things to outweigh the bad. That’s a popular cultural idea not found in the Bible.
And now, you should have a mission of utmost importance. Not to mention eternal significance. How many people can you take with you?
After all. You’re not going to keep this incredible news to yourself are you? Spend eternity with a bunch of strangers? Because you want your family and friends with you too, right?
So, tell them the good news. Urge them to join you. Convince and take along as many people as you can. They will become your greatest reward. You know, treasures in heaven.
Can you think of any better happily ever after story than that?
There are visible signs to an uncommon Christian life. Evidence that demonstrates a difference in a good way. Not perfect. But authentic and distinct. Here are just three signs that mark a real follower of Jesus Christ.
AN UNCOMMON CHRISTIAN
LIFE DEMONSTRATES HOLINESS
Stay with me. Biblical holiness is NOT holier than thou. That is actually self-righteousness and was regularly condemned by Jesus as pride in disguise.
In the life of an uncommon Christian, holiness is the pursuit, not the perfection of Godliness. As Paul describes in Philippians 3:12, it’s a goal you consistently strive to attain, but never complete in this life.
What do you mean by holy?
Biblical holiness means to be set apart and dedicated to God. It’s marked more by the desire of your heart than success of your performance. Even so, there is something obviously upright about how an uncommon Christian lives.
Additionally, it’s more than human effort. Scripture teaches that God’s Spirit dwells within and empowers a real follower of Jesus. So an uncommon Christian produces visible, spiritual fruits. (Galatians 5:22-23)
AN UNCOMMON CHRISTIAN
STANDS ON BIBLICAL TRUTH
The Bible claims to be God’s Word and absolute truth. (2
Timothy 3:16-17) It is an either or claim that demands a yes or no conviction.
In a yes response, a real follower of Jesus conforms his/her life to the teachings of scripture and resists fitting it to his/her lifestyle. So there’s an uncompromising, principled quality to an uncommon Christian life.
One that especially stands out in the relative truth, worldview of modern society. Perhaps is even mocked as out of touch with current thought.
AN UNCOMMON CHRISTIAN
MAINTAINS A FORWARD FOCUS
An uncommon Christian has a positive attitude and forward mindset. Because a real follower of Jesus anticipates a secure, heavenly future. Yet, doesn’t disengage from this life.
A real follower of Jesus recognizes the existence of evil without running from it. But rather, ministers through a transforming power that is Christ’s presence in their life. And when followers of Jesus unify as the church, the power is magnified.
Beyond life’s circumstances…
In spite of circumstances, an uncommon Christian possesses the most resilient force on earth…hope! It drives them, defines them and equips them with transcending joy.
Most importantly, an uncommon Christian is product of grace. Not perfectly reflected, but still a glimpse of God’s grace. So a real follower of Jesus shines like a lighthouse in a dark, needy world.
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