Thursday Pulpit: Creating 2020 vision for the rest of our lives

Thursday Pulpit: Creating 2020 vision for the rest of our lives

Kerry Scott Baldwin

Kerry Scott Baldwin

Happy 2020! What better decade to set a vision for the future and make New Year’s resolutions. Hopefully you’re feeling focused and enthusiastic about your goals at this very early stage of the year.

As the days turn into weeks and then into months, the challenge is staying focused. Through the power of prayer, you can stay on track.

There still will be times when things don’t go as planned. Or you may feel like you’re in a rut. The daily grind can blend one day into another. Before you know it, Monday of next week is already here. If that’s happening, then it’s time to refocus your life. It’s time to enjoy each day. It’s time to appreciate the now.

In everyday life, we should focus on our goals and keep expanding our horizons. By asking questions and pursuing truth, we can be in the know. The root word of question is quest. It’s defined as “pursuit, search or in search of” (New Webster’s). We can have a quest for truth, answers and adventure. Life is too amazing to merely go along for the ride.

Many of life’s mysteries are explained in the Bible. “You will seek me, and find me, when you search for me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13) I’m always happiest when I’m connected to Jesus. A real relationship with Him is vitally important.

Let’s move from being “in a rut” to “in the know.” How? Some people will tell you it’s by developing plans to make money. Others will say it’s by becoming well-known for something and perhaps even famous. Scripture clearly says that these pursuits are temporary, just like our earthly lives.

The true answer is by knowing Jesus, who created us, died for our sins and loves us right now. “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) The way to really know Him is to stop chasing the wind and to start talking to God.

We can pray right this second. We need to turn off the electronic devices and turn on our minds. Some people are lost when their iPhone or Android batteries go dead.

When you start the car, do you automatically turn on music? How often do you grab the remote and flip on the TV? Computers, iPads and tablets? Will you ever look back on your life and wish you’d had more screen time?

Make some quiet time for reflection. Sometimes we need to adjust the focus of our lives. We need to start, or restart, a quest for Jesus Christ. If you’re not as close to God as you used to be, guess who moved?

Through prayer, study of the Bible and sharing with others, we will know Jesus more and more. In Romans 8:28, Paul writes, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him.”

The quickest way to not be “in the know” is to follow the world’s advice. Satan is obviously smarter than all of us. He’s aware of our weaknesses, and wants us to think we have life all figured out.

“People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

Do any of these shoes fit? Of course, we’re all the same size – sinners. Because of God’s grace, we have forgiveness of sins and the promise of salvation.

Timing is everything. The only difference between a rut and a grave is the timing. With God’s help, let’s avoid the pitfalls of life. Let’s not lose an hour in the morning and spend all day looking for it.

Let’s go on a lifetime quest for truth! Then we will gain knowledge continuously. After all, the root word of knowledge is know. We can all be in the know this decade and beyond. May we be “in the know” with perfect vision and eyes wide open.

Kerry Scott Baldwin is an Elder of the Pacific Union College’s Seventh-day Adventist Church.

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In these trying times, the Apostle Paul gives Christians rules on how to live: be joyful all the time, pray constantly and in everything give thanks. These are only possible because of one's personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

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