In and out of the church, of other religions too, I suspect, success is determined on symbols of power. Most of our society views and measures our success based on symbols of success. Moral development theories observe this is where most of us find ourselves as a home base. It is measured in the size of homes and the types of cars. It is in the size of your church or in Super Bowls you have won, or the titles after your name. There is a lot of good to be done here. But it is not where we ought to stay. Jesus calls us out of this early in his public preaching when he said, "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).”
In this new year consider a more simplistic way and approach to your life. Consider beginning where the giants of the Christian faith seem to have begun, by being obedient to Jesus Christ. Read the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John through this month and mark down where Jesus’ words seem to speak to you. Then, focus on memorizing that one call to obedience each month AND seek to live it out as well that you might begin to be formed into the image of God this year.
May you know God's mercy this year!