Blessed New Year!
What will this New Year bring? Sometimes the future looks hazy. We do not know what will happen next. We cannot know for sure and not knowing can make us anxious. We all want to know how everything turns out but that knowledge belongs only to God. The problem is, since we do not know what is going to happen next, we are inclined to forget that God does know. God sees it all from beginning to end, like a magnificent story from above; he sees it all at once. The future belongs to God, and he determines what happens next. We can trust God with the future, because God is always and forever the same. God’s holiness, his mercy, his purposes never change. Even so, that does not make God predictable. God is beyond us, infinitely greater and wiser, and we will never figure out his ways.
We know the Bible says in Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”. God is always going to do something good; God is always going to bless us. Still one thing is for sure: God will surprise us every time. He will always do something new. God loves to create and do new things. A friend taught classes in country line dancing. She loved to teach dancing, but she had one major frustration. Whatever single dance she would teach first, that is the dance the class would want to do all night long. Apparently, rather than learn another new dance, people would rather do the same dance they know over and over again. The problem with sticking only with what we have done in the past is that all we know is past; yet we serve a God who is calling us forward into a new future. God says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” (Isaiah 43:18-19) Are you ready for God to do something new in your life and in our life together at church? Ready or not, as we join to walk with the Lord this New Year, God only leads us in one direction. FORWARD.
A good theme for 2018 could be LIVE FORWARD. We want to be a people released from the past and ready to receive every new thing God holds out to us in days yet to come. So let us get ready to LIVE FORWARD. In this first month of the year, I am asking you to make a couple of new commitments. First, set aside the seven days between the last two Sundays of the month, January 21 to 28 for a special week of fasting, praying, and renewal. We all need this time of spiritual renewal, and I believe the future of our church depends on it. Second, in order to grow as disciples, we are asking everyone to start a new journey with a small group or Bible study group. If you are not part of a small group or Bible study group, find out what group you can join. What God wants to do next in your life may very well begin with this new commitment to grow in relation to Christ with others. I am asking you to try it. After all, it is a new year, the start of something we have never seen before. What does the future hold for you and me? What does the future hold for our church? New things according to God’s purpose So let’s join together, and trust God as we LIVE FORWARD in ministry together in this new year.
Shalom, Pastor Lia