Ending the year well

Ending the year well
Things are going to get busy, and then it will be over. 2018 will be in the books, but the fruit of what happened this past year will keep producing. Stuff is going to keep growing and not just the stuff you want to grow.
The Bible idea of sowing and reaping is more complicated than sticking a few plants in the garden in May and plowing them under in late October. In the Bible way, everything has an effect. Both what we did and what we didn’t do, along with the stuff done to us, all grows. You don’t need to even try to have impact, you just do. Usually having a positive impact does take some thought and intention. But every one of us has been impacted by these past 365 days.
Ending the year is a great time to start fresh in your mind and soul. If you follow the church calendar things are wrapping up.  The coming of the Lord (Christmas) helps us have a mindset that doesn’t focus on us, but on who He is and the hope He provides. As we journey through Thanksgiving and then upon the love of God experienced in the gift of Jesus, we have opportunity to turn all those weeds into compost. We can harvest our crops and share with friends, family and those who are in need.
If you want to try to review or evaluate your life from a different perspective this year, try this.
Use the Lord’s Prayer as a mirror. Use the components I break the prayer up into and rate yourself. But lean into the Holy Spirit for perspective. The Spirit is the one who leads us all into the truth and nothing helps the year end so poorly as a deceptive evaluation.
So, find a comfortable place where you have at least 20 minutes. Relax and enjoy a beverage. Spend a moment thanking God and then prayerfully listen to the Spirit as you ponder each expression.  When you are done reviewing thank God again for His love and ask for direction for the year ahead. Write down your promptings and review them at least monthly. 
  “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. ‘Give us this day our daily bread. ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Matthew 6:9-13 NASB
Petition Reflection
Father in heaven Do I see God as a Father? How is my relationship with God?
Hallowed be Your name Do I see God as morally trustworthy? Do I depend on God?
Your kingdom come Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven Do I know what Father is doing? Do I understand my part in His plan? Do I enjoy life as an expression of God’s will?
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts… deliver us from evil Do I pray for others while I pray for myself? Do I see the needs of others as important as I see my own needs? Do I pray about evil or just complain?

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