A Message From Pastor Doug

“Resolute!”

“For we have seen His star at its rising

and have come to pay Him homage.” 

-Matthew 2:2

The Magi, who sought out the Baby Jesus after His birth, are an outstanding example of what it is to be resolute.  Let them inspire our New Year’s resolutions.  If you or I do not yet have resolutions for the New Year, it’s not too late.  Followers of Jesus Christ ought to always have resolutions. Jesus wants us have purpose, goals, and a mission individually and as families, congregations, and communities.

While you and I are identifying our resolutions, let the Bible help!  We really don’t have to reinvent the wheel!  The Bible is full of resolutions that we can adapt and apply to our day ahead, week ahead, month ahead, and our year ahead.  How about these, or other favorites of yours:

  • Love God with everything I’ve got … and love my neighbor as    myself.  (Matthew 22:37-40)
  • Do to others what I would like them to do to me.  (Matthew 7:12)
  • Make disciples.  (Matthew 28:16)
  • Love my enemies.  (Matthew 5:44)
  • Don’t worry about anything.  Instead, pray about everything.  (Philippians 4:6)
  • Make a joyful noise to the Lord.  Enter God’s courts with thanksgiving and praise.  (Psalm 100)
  • Glorify God who will accomplish exceedingly more than I can ask or imagine.  (Ephesians 3:20)
  • Do not conform to the world.  Instead, be transformed by the   renewal of my mind, and do not think of myself more highly than I ought to.  (Romans 12:2-3)
  • Love with patience and kindness that does not insist on my own way.  (1 Corinthians 13: 4-5)
  • Give generously, and I will receive likewise.  God loves a cheerful giver.  (2 Corinthians 9: 6-7)
  • Go to Jesus when my burdens are heavy, and He will give me rest.  (Matthew 11:28)
  • Fear will not stop me, because God is with me, shepherding me.  (Psalm 23)
  • Because I am a servant of the Lord, let it be with me according to God’s Word.  (Luke 1:38)

With any of the above resolutions, how can you make it your own?  How can you make it unique and specific to your reality and to your hopes and dreams?

For instance, to love my enemies, I’m going work at being nicer to Steelers, Yankees, and Duke fans.  😊

Seriously, I am resolving to pray for those who’ve harmed me and to live with less resentment.

Making disciples, for example, is always a resolution for a pastor like me.  It’s way more than my job, though!  It’s my calling.  I love doing it, and I’m uniquely gifted for it.  You know what?!  You are, too, and you are called to it as much as I am.  Jesus gave the Great Commission to all of us, His followers!

What I’m resolving to do again this year is to enjoy sharing my disciple’s journey with other disciples and their journeys.  Some will just be starting their journey, and that will be really exciting!  I’ll also enjoy sharing in what Jesus is doing to advance the journeys of those who have already    begun their journey with Christ, and I’ll enjoy sharing my journey with them.  A year from now, I hope to know more about your experience as a disciple of Jesus, if you’re OK sharing that with me … how being a disciple is going for you … how it started … where you would like it to go next, and how it all relates to your family. 

Happy New Year to you and to all of those dear to you!  2021 will be full of challenges and opportunities, like every year!  Let us meet them resolutely, and may our resolve be inspired and led by God’s Resolve!

Pastor Doug