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New Year’s message from Neighborhood Church: Faith-Based Goals for a New Year

Proverbs 16:9 The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.

I am amazed at how people plan and pull off amazing accomplishments. My wife and I walked through Disneyland the other day. This park and the Disney corporation came about from a dream along with ideas, goals, plans, and actions. I just finished reading Dune, written by Frank Herbert, then watched Dune the new movie. What an amazing story written back in 1965! It was the inspiration for other great stories like Star Wars and Game of Thrones.

Yet none of these well thought out and produced stories just happened, they took ideas, goals, plans, and actions. I also recently saw an interview with the late Stan Lee as he talked about the dream of the comic book superhero Spider-Man. It was first rejected, yet due to persistence with ideas, goals, plans, and actions, Spider-Man became one of the greatest superheroes people enjoy, even today. See, from entertainment, to businesses, to inventions, to buildings, to relationships, to health, to most any accomplishment, it takes ideas, goals, plans, and actions.

Planning and goal setting is a good thing. Jesus taught on it:

Luke 14:28-30 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’

The Bible encourages us to follow the example of the ant who plans well and diligently works those plans.

Proverbs 6:6-8 Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.

If you read on in that passage Proverbs 6:9-11 it is a challenge not to be lazy and to get on with ideas, goals, plans and actions. For laziness holds us back from those moments of opportunity.

Proverbs 21:5 The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.

Yes, it’s good to put efforts into those ideas, goals, plans and actions, but not hastily. In all this to make sure we are leaving room for God providence, God’s will.

James 4:13-15 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”

We always should leave room for God’s will and way. So yes, let’s not be lazy or plan with no consideration of what God would desire. Proverbs 3:5-6, Matthew 6:33-34 encourage us to plan while trusting and seeking God.

So what ideas, goals, plans and actions could we consider this new year in 2022? In times like these, with the stress of uncertainty as this pandemic continues, it is tempting to just let life happen and put on hold ideas, goals, plans, and actions. Yet uncertain circumstances will always be here. So, let’s make some faith-based goals anyway. Who knows we may even accomplish something!

Church is a great place to be inspired to press on with faith-based ideas, goals, plans, and actions. If you don’t have a church you regularly attend, we would like to invite you to view or visit Neighborhood Church. Our website has all the information you need for times and locations of all our Sunday gatherings. We would love for you to join in. You can also find us online at neighborhoodchurch.com. As well, if you would like to view any of our past worship gatherings or videos, visit our YouTube channel, or just search Neighborhood Church Cypress or Neighborhood Church Los Alamitos on their YouTube site.