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A New Year Ahead

Welcome to 2006. This is a brand new year with a brand new future. It is tempting to try and list everything we know about that was accomplished in 2005, but to that temptation, we shall not yield. Even if we could categorize and organize a list, how, on this side of heaven, could we ever know what God did with any of it? There is no way to measure what God does with what we offer Him. It staggers the mind to think that one little conversation or one small touch could turn into an awesome work in the hands of God. There is no way we can ever calculate or regulate the work of God.

In this new year we are faced with challenges, just like we were last year. We can make big plans and resolutions for the new year, but they will most likely never come about. Few people ever accomplish even a small percentage of the big plans they make for a new year. Most New Year’s resolutions die before the middle to end of January. So, what’s the challenge?

In 2006 we are challenged to be ourselves… in Christ. That brings a lot of responsibility. I, we, must first look at ourselves and see if what we are is worth being. If not, we need to look for corrective measures and apply them in our lives so that we live consistently with the principles of Christ. God does not call us to be extraordinary. He does not call us to do magnificent things. He calls us to do the ordinary, and it is very difficult for most of us to comprehend that. You see, God will bring glory to Himself, through us, as we do that which He has gifted us to do. In our ordinary and non-magnificent way, we do His will on this earth and He can turn it into the extraordinary and magnificent. It is He who makes big things out of small things. It is He who makes the wonderful out of the common. If we put ourselves in His hands, to do what He would have us do, He will make it whatever size or portion He chooses.

God calls us to be better than the sinful ways of this world. He does not call us to be super human. He calls us to be busy but He does not call us to neglect those around us who depend on us for love and support. He calls us to be active, but He also chooses to be active with us wherever we go and whatever we do. God calls us to live our lives in full dependence on Him, acknowledging Him with every movement of our lives.

Christianity is not a “turn on – turn off” experience. It is a way of life. There will be sinfulness and shortcomings, that is a fact. Nobody is perfect and will never be. But, we have been made perfect, even in the middle of our imperfection. God has imputed His righteousness to us and made us as righteous as He is and that is how He sees us. We see our imperfections and it often gets in the way of our service. We feel hypocritical when we try and serve Him and it often hinders us. On top of that, there are always plenty of people around to help point out our misgivings.

But, the really awesome thing is that God can take flawed folks just like you and me and take the things we do in His name and create astounding results. In our weakness, He is made strong. In our inability, He is made able. There is nothing that I could think or imagine that God cannot do. We serve a doing God. All He asks of me is to live my life in His way and do the kind of things He, Himself would do if He were in our shoes, and He can and will make it into an awesome, magnificent, extraordinary work which you and I may or may notever have a visual glimpse of. Whether we see it or not will not change the fact of what God is doing.

Every person in this church is important. Every gift that He has given us is important. Every good thing that is done in His name is important. So, when you have the opportunity to touch the hand of an older person who sits day in and day out alone, touch them. When you have the opportunity to give a bite of food to someone who is hungry, feed them. When someone wants to know about God, teach them. When someone rejoices, rejoice with them. When they cry, cry with them. Do what He would do. When someone is on the side of the road, help them. When someone dies, comfort and support those who are left in the wake of the loss. No single one of us can do it all. All we can do is what we can. That is all God ever called us to do. Just as in the Scripture, “she hath done what she could.”

We are left with a most awesome challenge. Live life in the Breath of God, breathing Him in and out in ever aspect of our lives, sharing His fragrance wherever we go. If we will do this, God will be pleased and this New Year will be worth living.