12 Random Reflections for the New Year

Lion12 random reflections that I will likely forget during the year 2013:

  1. Reflect daily on the whole counsel/will/plan/purpose of God (Acts 20:27). Give my heart daily to meditation on the Word of God.
  2. Read at least one chapter of the Bible a day following D.A. Carson’s daily commentary. This was my frequent failure in 2012.
  3. Rely on God’s power and working daily (1 Pet 4:11; Phil 2:12-13). Only Jesus alone can build his church (Mt 16:18).
  4. Recite two verses at the beginning of each day (Ps 19:14; Col 3:23). Only God can set my heart right (Gen 6:5; Jer 17:9; Prov 4:23).
  5. Repent based on the gospel, not on guilt and fear (2 Cor 7:10). My offense is primarily against God (Ps 51:4).
  6. Resolve not to fear any man (Prov 29:25). The fear of man emasculates. The gospel emboldens and humbles simultaneously.
  7. Reject work righteousness (Eph 2:8-9). Emphasizing works, performance and behavior promotes pride (or despair) and never justifies anyone (Gal 2:16).
  8. Resist authoritarianism which is of the devil (Acts 19:16), and which denies Jesus’ humble servant leadership (Mt 20:25-28; Mk 10:42-45; 1 Pet 5:2).
  9. Review my progress often (1 Tim 4:15). It is so easy to feel stuck in a rut.
  10. Renew my heart only by God’s transforming mercy (Dt 30:6; Eze 11:19, 36:26; Jer 31:33).
  11. Rejoice always (1 Th 5:16), and never ever tire of testifying to the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24).
  12. Rest (Mt 11:28).

Do you have any random reflections to share for the new year?


  1. 13. Remember that the Bible, including the OT, is about Jesus (Jn 5:39, 46; Lk 24:27, 44; Acts 10:43).

    • This is a great list!

      It is also an amazingly awesome attempt at alliteration.

    • Thanks, Brian. I just thought of another:

      14. Reconciliation is basic Christianity (2 Cor 5:18). This should never be delayed, but must be ongoing and pursued daily, especially toward those who are broken and hurt.

  2. Here are some random things I learned last year…

    Be human. Be yourself. Be honest.

    Homosexual people are not automatically condemned to hell.

    God is raising deep, passionate and fascinating gospel witnesses in the LGBT community.

    Don’t cut too deeply into your “self” with the knife of self-denial.

    God needs our conscience, our dreams and our emotions.

    The gospel is about grace, peace, the glory of Christ, the kingdom of God and salvation. These are five explicit messages of the gospel mentioned in Scripture.

    The gospel as Apostle Paul defined it explicitly is: Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. 2 Timothy 2:8

    Salvation is justification, not justification plus sanctification plus glorification.

    Live a life that is being transformed by grace-driven sanctification guided into all truth by the Holy Spirit.

    The Holy Spirit is our General Director.

    Jesus is our Lord and King and Savior.

    The work completed on the cross was fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets, which included abolishing the regulations of the Law in the flesh of Jesus and nailing the written code to the cross. (Romans, Galatians, Colossians, Ephesians)

    Christ is the end of the law.(Romans 10:4)

    A life of obedience to the Law is a cursed life and no one will be justified by such a life. (Galatians 3:10, Galatians 2:16)

    Apostle Paul’s writings and the book of James are not contradictory, but teach the same truth from different angles.

    The gospel is about fulfillment, freedom and forgiveness.

    To repent is to turn to God. Such repentance motivates us into actions that demonstrate we did turn to God.

    The gospel is presented in Scripture as “repentance and forgiveness of sins”. We turn to God and His forgiveness floods our soul.

    The gospel is not presented in Scripture as “repent of your sins”. We can never be good enough nor present ourselves to God well enough in order to receive more grace.

    The gospel of sin management is no gospel at all.

    The gospel of condemnation by the law is no gospel at all.

    The Christian life is not a life of brutally butchering sin or self, but a life of desperately clinging to the grace of God with all my might.

    The effervescent, new wine, all-surpassing power and joy and peace and faith and hope and love and justice comes only when we realize God’s gift is 100% baaed on His work and 0% based on our work.

    • In reflecting back on these comments from the beginning of 2013, I am ever more convinced in my beliefs above. I feel a sense of accomplishment regarding my three goals above: Be human. Be yourself. Be honest.

    • Goals for 2014? Publishing! 2014 will see at least one new book, a new website and many more connections with various media outlets.

    • Is your new book the one with bigbear?

    • Yes, but I have some ideas for further books.

    • If you think there is something that we could collaborate together let me know.

  3. James Kim

    Happy New Year, Ben and Brian. Recently I read a book “Lovism”, s story about Dr Kim Jin Kyung who built a university (YUST) in Yanbian, China and later PUST (Pyungyang Univ of Science and Technology)in North Korea. He was the first person who was allowed to build a university in the Communist country like China and North Korea as a foreigner.
    Your blog reminds me of his eight mottos that he has taught for the university students in the Communist country. (These eight mottos are translation into English. To Americans it may sound a little strong.)

    1. Must understand others.
    2. Must sacrifice first.
    3. Must respect others.
    4. Must reconcile each other.
    5. Must forgive others.
    6. Must first say,”I am sorry”
    7. Must be thankful.
    8. Must love others unconditionally.

    In the communist country you can not say the name of Jesus, but his ideas are all from Christ. I must remember these things in this year.
    Trying to understand others and respect others, forgive others and show unconditional love to others is the first step for reconciliation.

    • Thanks James. This is a rather good list, as long as it doesn’t develop into an absolute ideology and is used as a guide rather than commands. I don’t think it is too strong. In fact, I think it is critical that we are able to express some of the gospel messages without a Bible, without using “God” and without demanding conformance to uniformity.

  4. Great list from Kim. Thanks, James, Brian.

    Another caveat is that this list or any other list should always be applied toward oneself, and never guilt tripped toward others.

    A sad refrain I have heard from some older UBF members is this: “We have served so sacrificially for so long, that now it is YOUR TURN to serve and sacrifice.” Imagine if God applied such words to us!

    • Maria Peace
      Maria Peace

      Great reflections Ben, Brian and James. I am working on mine now. It’s hard to review 2012 because of several painful things that happened to me. But I’m so glad that I can come to Jesus who is my peace maker, Lord and Savior. I had two weeks of Christmas vacation already with our children, which have been so comforting. I so glad that God gave our family four wonderful children. We have one more week left and we are going skiing in the Carpathian mountains. In that environment I want to reflect on what God has done in 2012 and pray for his leading and proper key verse for 2013. I want to wish all UBFriends a Happy New Year.

  5. Wow, skiing in the Carpathians – something I always wanted to do. Unfortunately, need to work and school holidays are too short for that. Happy New Year, Mariah, and don’t break your legs.

    • Hello

      I also, havent written my reflection for this year. I have so much to think about and reflect on and the pain that comes with it, is a bit overwhelming.Its been a very difficult year to process,So many things have happened in ToledoUBF. But I thank God that I can always come to Him, who is our wonderful counselor and prince of peace. Happy New Year…and may God be like a roaring lion this year and that we all may have this kind of courage to stand in His truth.

  6. These reflections are good to be reminded of. I think #8 is highly relevant – “Resist authoritarianism which is of the devil (Acts 19:16), and which denies Jesus’ humble servant leadership (Mt 20:25-28; Mk 10:42-45; 1 Pet 5:2).”

    Will the day come when the 20 or 30 so ubf directors who are steeped in authoritarianism are all called out together and removed from office all at once? When we single out people one by one to hold them accountable, nothing gets better because the control is still there.

  7. Thanks, Brian. I still love my corny alliteration! even if I usually forget them after coming up with them.

    I really do not see any “controlling” director being removed from UBF. Your layers probably explains why it won’t happen. Our only consolation is that no matter how controlling any UBF director is, God is the ultimate One who is in control (Ps 115:3; 135:6; Jn 3:8).

    Really, I feel very bad and very sorry for anyone who thinks they are in control. It will be a very sad day for them whenever they realize that they are really NOT in control at all, no matter how much they try to control UBF.

  8. As I close out this year, it is good for me to reflect on my thoughts on Jan 1, 2013. As I re-read my 12 alliterations, I was somewhat shocked and sobered to realize how far I fall far short of my own expectations, plans and desires.