Week beginning: 31st December, 2017 | By Gavin Callaghan | Perth

But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:13-14 (ESV)

How was 2017 for you? Was it a year of personal and professional joy and achievement; or was it one that, quite frankly, you cannot wait to put behind you?

The cusp of a new year can be a good time to look back and evaluate what has gone before in the past 12 months, but such a process comes with two obvious dangers: basking in our successes or wallowing in our failures.

As one prone to (sometimes unhealthy and unhelpful) introspection, these well-known verses have become precious to me. The earlier part of chapter 3 lists Paul's considerable achievements, while we see his considerable failings prior to his conversion in the book of Acts. But neither are his focus. Paul kept moving forward, with that prize of the upward call of God in the Lord Jesus in his sights.

As we move into 2018, let's not be complacent in or hamstrung by what's gone before. Let's press on confident in God and his grace into all the opportunities and challenges that the next year holds.

Prayer Points:

1.  May we commit 2018 to the Lord, with our eyes set on Him.

2.  That the new year would be abundant in opportunities to bring God glory in our work and studies.