From the Pastor's Pen


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A Message from Pastor David Williamson


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January:  Pastor's Message


      Welcome to the year of our Lord 2019

 

         If you're like most people, you are beginning this new year with resolutions - intentions to do something to improve your life.  According to the folks at statista.com, the top New Year's resolutions for 2018 were to save more money, lose weight, and get in shape.  And despite all the negativity that's usually associated with those resolutions, the good news (according to the Journal of Clinical Psychology) is that 46-percent of people who make New Year's resolutions are still working on them six months into a new year.

 

       The Miami Herald reported last year that "making a resolution is one of the best ways to actually make a change, particularly if realistic goals are set in the first place.  Resolutions involve us moving our goals from mere contemplation into more concrete actions, [researchers] say."

 

        With that in mind, I want to share the opening sentence from A Little Book on the Christian Life by John Calvin, which I received shortly before Christmas:  "The goal of God's work in us is to bring our lives into harmony and agreement with His own righteousness, and so to manifest to ourselves and others our identity as His adopted children."

 

        It reminded me of another sentence, the opening words of the Westminster Catechism: "Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever."

 

        And much more recently, Pastor Rick Warren begins his runaway bestseller, The Purpose-Driven Life, with the admonition that our lives are not about us.  "The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness.  It's greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions.  If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God.  You were born by His purpose and for His purpose."

 

        Face it, that's counterintuitive and it's certainly countercultural.  But then, so is the idea that God loves us so much that He sent His only Son to become a human being (Philippians 2:6-7), born in a humble stable (Luke 2:7).  It's counterintuitive that the Son of God would suffer and die on the cross for us (1st John 2:2).  And it certainly defies common sense that Jesus rose from the dead (1st Corinthians 1:18-25), and that death will not have the last word in our lives, either (1st Cor. 15:20-23).

 

        The television is filled with ads for exercise machines and gym memberships, financial gurus are making predictions for the coming year, and the self-help motivational seminars and books will soon be flooding the market.  Judging by the most popular New Year's resolutions for 2018, those things may well be helpful to you.

 

        But first and foremost, I urge you to embrace and pursue the wisdom of God, the perspective of God, the will of God in your life.  Resolve to make church attendance a priority in your life (Hebrews 10:25).  Resolve to trust God more by sharing your time, talents and treasures more generously (Luke 6:38).  Resolve to "be still and know God" (Psalm 46:10) in daily prayer and Bible reading.  Resolve to participate in a Bible study or Sunday School class or seminar - or, better yet, to teach one - in 2019 (2nd Timothy 2:15).  Resolve to see yourself as God sees you - always loved, forgiven, and important in His eyes (Jeremiah 31:3).

 

        I look forward to seeing you in church.  Be sure to bring a friend or two with you.

        

 

Yours in Christ, 

~~~Pastor David Williamson

 

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