Pastor’s Message

JANUARY 2018

 

Made your resolution?  2 Corinthians 6:2 says: For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you.  On the day of salvation, I helped you.”  Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation. I’m pretty sure this is what interests God the most. This is why He was born in Bethlehem and why He lived and preached in this world for 33 ½ years.  It is why He taught 12 men to continue His message.  It’s why He allowed Himself to be crucified on the cross. It is why He rose on that 3rd day.  And it’s why He offers forgiveness of sin through faith and repentance.  And it’s why He promises the infilling of His Holy Spirit to us.

       God is in the business of helping people change their lives to the good.  Honestly, it is the reason we need God’s help in our lives.  Because spiritually, we are all naturally drawn to the things in this world that destroy us spiritually and separate us from God and His will in our lives.  So, this year, maybe we need more than a New Year’s Resolution if we really want to have the kind of change that is going to make a difference in our lives and cause us to live above the guilt and shame of sin and the things that would destroy us physically, relationally and spiritually.

       It is not a New Years thing. It is an “It Starts Today” thing.  They asked Peter on the day of Pentecost, “What should we do? What change needs to happen? How do we fix our lives?”  And Peter told them the same thing I’m going to tell you today.  He replied Acts 2:38, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. See, we can’t fix our spiritual conditions ourselves.  We need God’s forgiveness. That’s why we repent. And all of us need the gift of His Holy Spirit if we are going to have a chance at living above the spiritual attack that the devil is going to throw our way to keep us from living for God.

       But we don’t just make up our minds to do this in January because it’s New Years.  We do it in February, and in March, and in April…  Joshua said in 24:15: But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”    Paul tells us in Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.   Patience, that means consistency, Everyday.  It’s not just a New Year’s thing.  It’s not just a Sunday thing. It’s an everyday Walk With God.  It is not a visit to the spiritual Emergency Room. We don’t come running in only when our lives are falling apart. We don’t just pray when we have no alternative. We don’t just worship Him because it’s 8:30 or 11:00am on a Sunday.  We’re walking with God every day. We pray “at all times,” not just because we are facing the worst thing that could ever happen to us.

       You might say, “I need some change in my life.”  Well, start now! You might say, “my family really needs some help.”  Well, It starts now.  It’s not about New Years.  It’s about the fact that Jesus loves you.  And no, we cannot fix these things ourselves.  We need God’s help.

       Too often, we want to put stuff off.  We all do it.  Sadly too many people put this decision off until it’s too late.  Revelation 3:20 Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.  Do you hear that?  “Open the door”!  Jesus says, “It starts now!”  Open the door!  Open the door of your heart.  Open the door of your mind. Open the door of your faith.  Open up and let God in.  It starts the moment you open that door!  It starts the second you say yes to Him and begin to give your heart and life to Him.

       People want to play “tough guy.”  Nope… I can do it myself. Nope.. I don’t need anybody’s help.  I have news for you.  At some point, you are not only going to need someone else’s help, but you’re going to need God’s help.   And you’re going to need His help in a really big way.  And if you want that help, and if you accept His grace, it can start right now.  You don’t have to make a resolution.  You don’t have to hire a coach. You can bow your head right now and ask for His forgiveness and His help.  It starts today.

MARK