A Gospel-Shaped 2018

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This is what the Lord says: “Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches. But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the Lord, have spoken!” Jer. 9:23-24 (NLT)

Heavenly Father, whether or not 2018 is going to be a “happy” New Year, remains to be seen. But as in 2017, there won’t be a day this year you’ll fail to send us new mercies and give us sufficient grace. You’ll steadfastly delight in us, and rejoice over us with singing, no matter the happenstance, circumstances, or providences. Because of Jesus’ finished work, your love for us is irrepressible, immeasurable, and inexhaustible. That will be the most predictable and reliable truth in 2018. Hallelujah!

In response to the words you spoke through the prophet Jeremiah, this is our prayer for 2018. May it be a year filled with knowing you better, boasting in you more robustly, and serving you more joyfully. Though our desire for approval and power, riches and relationships, comfort and control will be unrelenting, may intimate fellowship with you seize our hearts, shape our schedules, and consume our days. Our only New Year’s resolution is to believe the gospel more fully and gladly.

May the gospel compel us to love mercy, work for justice and walk humbly with you in 2018. Don’t let us forget that all of history is tied to your commitment to redeem a Bride for Jesus from every nation, tongue and people group. Show us our place in that story.

May we dance and suffer, work and pray, serve and love all to your glory. Reveal more of Jesus to our hearts; bring gospel-renewal to our churches; and advance your kingdom in our cities. May we live each day this year confident of your great love, resting in your sovereign rule, and longing for Jesus’ return. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ merciful and mighty name.
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