Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 1 Tim. 4:7-8
Do you have any spiritual goals for 2021? Biblically, we are encouraged to discipline or train ourselves for the purpose of godliness. I think it was Benjamin Franklin that said, “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” As we end 2020, it is a good time to think about some spiritual goals and objectives for 2021. January is a great time to get started on new goals.
I usually try to read through the Bible each year using a different Bible reading plan each year. I have a few different “Bible in a Year” Bibles in different translations and reading plans. Some Bibles contain some Old Testament, New Testament, Psalm, and Proverbs each day while others are chronological Bibles. Having a physical Bible with daily readings are helpful to me. If you would like some help with a Bible reading plan, we have several options linked on our church website. Most plans can be downloaded and printed out or accessed on your mobile device or computer. I think 2021 would be a great year for all of us to spend some time in the Word of God every day (rather you read a few verses a day or through the Bible in a year).
I hope you will commit to participate in a Bible study group in 2021. We have multiple Bible study groups on Sunday mornings at 9:30. We would be glad to help you find a Bible study group to meet your desires. My class (with Brandon Clay) will be starting through a study called “American Gospel” this Sunday that examines things such as the prosperity gospel, false gospels, and some of the poor theology that is often taught in churches around the world. In addition to our Bible study groups, we are going to be starting several men’s discipleship groups in February. We will have a men’s breakfast on Jan. 16th where we will be sharing some of the times and options. If you would like more information on these groups, please see Brad Rathburn.
In addition to reading the Bible every day and participating in Bible study groups in 2021, I want to share a few of my spiritual goals for 2021. First, I want to be more intentional in personal evangelism. COVID-19 made personal evangelism a little more difficult in 2020 (or at least gave us some extra excuses). My goal is to have at least one gospel conversation with somebody every week in 2021 (I would like to have one daily). If you have somebody you would like for me to visit with you or talk to about the gospel, please let me know. I also want to continue to pray for some “ones” in 2021 and hope you will continue to pray for a lost person(s) each day and seek opportunities to evangelize him/her this year.
My goal is to read 21 books (in addition to the Bible, commentaries, and Bible study materials) in 2021. I’ve already got John Stott’s “Radical Disciple” and Will Mancini’s “Future Church” ready to start. I’m planning on studying and preaching through the Book of Daniel this year (after Easter). Finally, I started a discipleship book in early 2019 (before coming to Burlington) entitled, “A Beautifully Adorned Bride: Becoming a Healthy Disciple while Waiting for our Lord.” My goal is to finish that book in 2021.
I’m looking forward to growing spiritually in 2021 and seeing what God has in store for Burlington Baptist. I’m looking forward to a new series that we will kick off this Sunday called, “Turning Our Eyes Upon Jesus.” After the many distractions of 2020, I think it is important for us to get our eyes back upon Jesus. Jesus changes lives and we need to look to Him. I hope you can join us on Sunday (in person or online). I hope you will consider setting some spiritual goals for 2021. I’d love for you to share your goals with me and if I can be of assistance, please let me know.
Happy New Year!