Like many of you, I'm sure, I hold loosely to New Year's resolutions. Afterall, good intentions die quickly in the wake of too many well-intentioned resolutions or the inevitable hundred-and-one urgencies that crowd our lives before we even get to February.
Little wonder that just yesterday I saw some "expert" on television encouraging viewers to limit our resolutions to one and one only.
Makes sense, to be sure. But then the question is: Which one?
For the Apostle Paul, the answer to such a New Year's question would have been a no brainer. Even near the end of his ministry, the Apostle's unflinching resolve was clearly set forth in Philippians 3:12: "I want to know Christ."
"I want to know Christ."
Yeah, I know. Such a "resolution" should be a given in the life of anyone who claims the Name. But what was it I said a moment ago about those on-hundred-and-one urgencies?
It's funny (tragic?) how even something seemingly as "sanctified" as the publishing challenges encountered daily here at Christianity Today can draw our attentions away from the One we serve.
Thus all the more reason to take today (and probably tomorrow, and all-the-days-after tomorrow) to repeat the Apostle's refrain. And repeat it like we mean it! (Not like committing ourselves to losing pounds that will only be put back by Easter!).
Imagine for a moment if we really did see every—every—aspect of our lives interwoven with the One who took on flesh and blood in Bethlehem "only" to bleed out love on Calvary?
"No one has ever seen God," wrote the Apostle John in I John 4:12. "But if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us."
In other words, as we resolve to know and live Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, you and I become the very likeness of Christ. (That's been the story line of Christianity Today's award-winning "This Is Our City" effort: Men and women creatively being Christ in their disparate communities.)
Talk about being a counter culture for the common good!
Yes, would we all want to know Christ more in 2013!
Which prompts me to mention two overarching ministry-related prayers for 2013.
First, please join us here in praying that all our content—in print and in digital form, in trusted brands and new initiatives—would consistently provide thoughtful commentary on the One we seek to know—Jesus—as well as offer practical insights on how that knowing can and must shape our doing as servants of the King.
And secondly, I'd ask you to pray that as we seek to faithfully present Christ and him crucified in all we do, that we would clearly discern the ways God would have us go with our various strategies and proposals in the months ahead.
I'll not mince words here: 2012 was tough. Real tough. Red ink tough. And the color tone of 2013 doesn't look to be much different.
That does not mean the ministry is not moving ahead on all fronts. But it does mean we need to continue to be attentive to where God might be taking (or not taking!) this ministry as we seek to faithfully "create Christian content that changes the people who change the world."
I covet your prayers in these two matters. Even as I encourage you to continue your support of our ministry. Remember, we are a nonprofit, and your gifts—of whatever size—are tax deductible. And yes, as clichéd as it sounds, even at the start of 2013, we truly do need your support now more than ever!
Would God bless each of you in this New Year. And by his Spirit, would we together press on to know Christ more.
President and CEO
Follow me on Twitter @HaroldSmithCT