As I sit in my office and we begin to set plans in motion for the next year, I cannot help but think that only three days after Christmas and we are already putting away our Christmas decorations, most of the Christmas sweets have been eaten or thrown away, the music has shifted back to its normal course and the theme of Christmas is fading away as our attention quickly moves to the New Year and beyond. The things that fade are not important. Think about that for a second. All of the things we poured money into, time into, our joy into, are fading except for one. Jesus is the only reason we had to celebrate and while everything else seems to be dying off, HE LIVES. Jesus is not just a season of joy or a fading glimmer of hope, each day we remember His deep love for us and the sacrifice He made for us and that should draw us into worship followed by obedience. I think we should be glad that the other things fade away as we seem to focus less on presents, music, food and music and our attention can be refocused on our Savior.
How would God change you this year if you would allow Him? You can call them resolutions, goals, plans, or Holy Discontents, but the New Year often brings about the idea of changing something in yourself to be more refined. What will it be for you? Can I encourage you this year to look at what is keeping you from being like Jesus and pursue shedding off that practice or bad habit? Maybe it is not something you need to lose, but something you need to add to your life. Can I encourage you to use Romans 12:2 as your guide?
"Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, His good pleasing and perfect will."
Can I encourage you to resolve to better understand the will of God and to pursue it with everything that is in you? I think it is in this pursuit that we will find the fullness of joy and the complements of our Father in Heaven. How can I encourage you in your journey? Our pastors and office staff see it as our mission to equip you for the work of ministry that you would walk in a manner worthy of your calling and the gospel. We are here to encourage and cheer you on this next year of life. Run in such a way as to receive the prize.