Every January as the page turns on a new year we tend to make resolutions. We resolve to spend more time with our families, to lose weight, to eat more nutritiously, to read our Bibles, etc. If the truth be told, we often break many, if not all, of these resolutions by the end of January. This year, I've decided to not make any resolutions! That's right! No resolutions! I have decided to simply do my best to love Jesus more today, than I did yesterday. To this end, here are 3 suggestions that I pray will help all of us start the New Year with Jesus...
1. Start the New Year in Worship, becase Jesus deserves it!
The writer of Hebrews tells says, "Let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another --and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (Heb. 10:25). In short, we are told to not miss gathering with the people of God to worship God. Much like the audience to whom Hebrews was written, there are many today who have fallen into the "habit" of not gathering regularly for worship. One of the reasons we should do this is simply because Jesus deserves it! He deserves our worship and adoration. He deserves our gathering together. One day, soon, He will return. So, let us eagerly gather in worship as we wait for His approaching!
2. Start the New Year in Community, because we need it!
We need each other! I need you and you need me! Did you know that there are dozens of "one another" statements in the Bible? The Bible tells us to "love one another," "pray for one another," "encourage one another," etc. Life was never meant to be lived alone, but in community! We need the encouragement, support, and accountablity of a group of believers to be successful in living life as disciples of Jesus. I once heard James Merrit say, "You can be a Christian without going to church, but you won't be a good Christian without going to church." This is true becuase we need a community of believers, i.e., the body of Christ, to help us reach our fullest potential in Christ.
3. Start the New Year in God's Word, becuase you can't live without it!
In Matthew 4 Jesus found Himself in the wilderness being tempted by the devil. This was just after His baptism and the beginning of His ministry. While in the wilderness He was tempted three times by the devil. In Matthew 4:4 Jesus responds to one of those temptations saying, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." Jesus knew that to survive and thrive, He must find His hope in God's Word! In fact, with each temptation, Jesus quoted Scripture (from Deuteronomy). If Jesus needed the Word of God, how much more do we?
Will you join me in 2017 as we commit to living and loving Jesus? No, resolutions! Just whole-hearted commitment! I'd also love to have you join me for worship on January 1, 2017 at Temple Baptist Church!