Dr. Lewis Brogdon, Executive Director
At the end of every year, I spend valuable time reflecting on the year before the new year begins. It has blessed me over the years as I have seen God do “exceeding abundantly above all that I could ask or think” in my life (see Eph 3:20). I want to encourage you to join me in this “annual discipline” of doing some year-end soul and spirit work. I know you have celebrations of varied kind to attend, football games to watch, or last-minute trips to take but it is important to make time for God and to reflect on the path you walked throughout the year.
The questions below will help you do some of this work. They are meant to foster reflection, not check marks or easy answers. Please don’t hurry through this exercise. Allocate time (even if it takes you into January), ideally a journal to write in and solitude. The purpose is to encourage careful reflection, introspection, prayer, thanksgiving, praise, and hopefully wisdom for the days ahead. I have included some verses from scripture to provide guidance, challenge, wisdom, and perspective to the path you walked in 2023. Together they provide a tool the Holy Spirit can use to search your heart, mind, and the contours of your life.
1. In what ways have you advanced God’s kingdom (righteousness, justice, truth, & love) or sought “first” God’s kingdom according to Matthew 6:33 this year? Reflect on Matthew 6:24-34 about two masters.
2. Where are the places of growth in your walk with God and faith? How has your faith deepened? Reflect on 2 Corinthians 5:7 that says we “walk by faith and not by sight” and 2 Peter 1:5 that says, “add to your faith.”
3. Where are the places of challenge or frustration in your walk with God and faith? Reflect on James 1:2-3 that teaches us how to handle adversity with joy and patience.
4. How has God showed up in your life in 2023? Reflect on Exodus 14:13 and Psalm 46:10 that remind us of the importance of seeing and knowing when and how God is at work in our lives.
5. What is a lesson from 2023 you will take into 2024? Reflect on Ephesians 5:15-16 that talks about walking in wisdom and redeeming time.
6. Did God get your best in 2023? If so, in what ways? If not, what held you back or prevented you from doing this? What changes need to be made for 2024? Reflect on Psalm 116:12 and Mark 12:17 and the importance of giving to God and what it looks like to do that in life.
7. Have I honored God and been a good steward of the relationships entrusted to me? Reflect on Matthew 25:31-46, Luke 10:25-37, and 1 John 3:17-18 that teach challenging lessons on treating and loving others.
• spouse or partner
• strangers I encounter
• people suffering near and far
8. Who were the most influential people in your life in 2023 and what role did they play in breakthroughs or hard seasons/moments? What do these relationships teach you about the people in your life, especially those in your “inner circle” however you define it?
9. What brings you excitement and joy as the new year dawns? What brings anxiety as the new year dawns? Give some thought as to whether your “expectations” are realistic or unrealistic.
10. Are there major decisions on the horizon in 2024? If so, what are they and how would like to approach each one?
Concluding Word of Exhortation and Prayer
May your path in 2024 be informed by the work and wisdom of God.
Heavenly Father, you know the path I walked. The ups and downs. The highs and lows. You know when I was at my best and my worst. I thank you for your steadfast love, goodness, and faithfulness. Forgive me for not always “acknowledging you in everything I do” and for relying on you only when “I can’t do it myself.” Help me to learn from my mistakes and sins. Nurture the desire for your best and your will, not mine or the world’s. Grant me discernment and favor as I learn to yield to your leading and your plan for my life. I thank you in advance for all you will do in 2024 not just in my life but in all the earth. I humbly ask this in the name of Jesus, amen.