5 Resolutions for 2014

In my first sermon of 2014, I used the New Years tradition of setting resolutions to suggest five practices to draw us closer to Jesus. A number of people asked me for the list, so here they are:

My first suggested resolution is to Better One’s Health.
We read in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “... do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.” The body is the temple of the holy spirit, and Paul instructs the Corinthians not to abuse the body by any means. To do so is to disrespect the work of Christ. Since we were bought with a price, we ought to “glorify God in our body.” To the Romans, he says to present our bodies as a living sacrifice. So we can make a pleasing offering to God by making one positive change in our health.

My second resolution is to Grow in Faith.
In Colossians 3:16, Paul says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.” If we want to become more knowledgeable about God; more loving like Jesus; more active in the world like the Holy Spirit, we will need to make a concerted and committed effort to do so. It will not just happen by osmosis. This verse from Colossians gives two specific practices toward spiritual growth: The study of the word of God and worship. So for 2014, let each of us pick one practice to allow the word of God to dwell in us and to deepen our worship

My third suggested resolution is to Be Reconciled to someone with whom you are not on good terms.
In Matthew 5:23-24, Jesus says, “So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.” I am sure each of us has a relationship that could stand some healing or reconciliation. Many times it is a misunderstanding or a wrong perception that has caused the break. Often times all it takes is an honest conversation to heal the hurt. In humility and forgiveness, I encourage you to reach out to just one person with whom you have a strained relationship. This is hard, but it is probably the most rewarding.

The fourth resolution suggestion is to Tell Others about Jesus.
Paul writes in Romans 10:14, 15, 17, “But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? ... So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.” We have the greatest news ever told, and we must not keep it to ourselves. There are people out there who need to hear of the love and forgiveness of Christ. We can not allow the cultural pressure to keep our faith to ourselves to win over the importance of sharing Christ. Pray that God would reveal to you the one person who needs to hear the gospel; and then share it!

My final suggested resolution is to Serve Someone in the name of Christ.
We read the following story in Luke 22:24–27, “A dispute also arose among [the disciples] as to which one of them was to be regarded as the greatest. But [Jesus] said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you; rather the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.” Jesus left us the model of servanthood, and those who follow him will follow in his footsteps. In the face of overwhelming need, it is easy to become paralyzed. While we can’t help “all the world,” we can help the one whom God places in front of us. I encourage you to strive to see the world with the eyes of Jesus and then meet the need of the one whom God puts in front of you.

May you have a blessed 2014!
Your friend and pastor,
Pastor Lee