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Pastor's Point - January 2022

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Dear Church Family,

As we enter a new year together, I want to encourage our church family to resolve ourselves to some things.

On December 19th I preached on the topic of The Lowly Lord. It was a message that encouraged us to look to the perfect model of humility that Jesus chose for His life and lived out perfectly. The church at Philippi was struggling in their relationships, and so the Apostle Paul encourages them to look away from self and to look to Jesus. He explained to them that Jesus had always been God and as He came to the earth, He chose the form of a servant as He came to serve and not be served. Jesus prioritized perfect obedience to God the Father instead of clinging to His exalted position in Heaven. And then He also chose sacrifice and perseverance as He made his way to the cross for those lost in their sin.

The second point of my sermon on the 19th was simply for us to understand that we must prioritize humility in our lives, and then exaltation will follow. This is where we get things wrong so often. We mistakenly seek to exalt ourselves instead of living in humility with others. I shared a quote that reads… “The way of exaltation is always through humiliation. If that principle was true for the Son of God, how much more is it true for His followers”? 

So, let’s spend our lives seeking to have the attitude of humility mark us. This is us living in such a way that we are mindful to what Paul warns the Philippians about in vv.3-4 of Philippians 2. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

To guard against selfish ambition, and looking to our own interests, let’s prioritize humility in our lives! Remember humility is not thinking less of yourself. It is simply thinking about yourself less. So, let’s have the attitude of humility mark our lives in 2022!!  Resolve yourself to…

  1. Count others more significant than yourself.
  2. Look to serve instead of being served.
  3. Seek God’s will instead of your will.
  4. Be teachable instead of thinking you know it all.
  5. Live your life by God’s wisdom instead of your wisdom.

As we live resolving ourselves to these things, we are practically choosing to live in humility, which is exactly the way we are to live. This is us making a conscience effort to push back against a culture that tells us to exalt ourselves. Let’s prioritize living faithfully in humility right now in life and let God bring the exaltation in time to our lives.

I love you and I love being your pastor!

Posted by Alan Scott with

Spare Change - January 2022

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Toward the end of every year we look expectantly to the new year.  Usually it goes something like this, “This year has been crazy (terrible, frustrating, or whatever your preferred negative adjective is), next year will be amazing (my year, great, or whatever your preferred positive adjective is)”. For some reason we believe that the simple turning of the clock from 11:59 p.m. on December 31st to 12:00 a.m. January 1st will do something.  We put our hope in the changing of the year as if there is magic in the new year. 

I get it, especially after the past couple of years, we have been through the ringer. It is natural to loathe the past and look longingly into the future.  I was recently looking back at some Facebook memories from December of 2019.  I thought sarcastically, “If I only knew what would happen starting in March of 2020.”  We were all ready to leave behind 2020, however 2021 has not been much better. Does that mean that 2022 will finally be our year?  I seriously doubt it.

The reason for my doubt is that even before the mess of 2020 we had the same attitude.  For years, I remember people longing for a new year.  For something different, something to be better in a future time.  The problem is this hope is misplaced.  It is like knocking on wood  superstitiously or believing that full moons affect people's actions.  These are simple hopeless myths that do not mean anything, especially for the believer!  We should not be bound by superstitions, and we should not put our hope in the changing calendar.  

As Christians, we believe God is sovereign over all circumstances in our life and the lives of every living person.  We should not hope in a new year, instead we should hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.  First, we need to understand that God has ordained the circumstances of our life.  We understand from scripture that even the perceived bad circumstances are used by God in our lives.  We should look at Romans 8 and James 1 for help with this perspective.  If we had this attitude, then I believe, we would not need to bemoan the past year and we would be ready to face any challenge the new year would bring.  

Second, if we feel we do need change in our lives, as Christians, we need to appeal to our Lord.  The changing calendar can do nothing to affect our circumstances, but the Lord of heaven and earth can!  It amazes me that Christians do not turn to the Lord more often.  We should be appealing to the Lord when we need wisdom, direction, assistance, forgiveness, change, and a myriad of other needs.  The Lord is the one that can affect change in our lives, especially in the areas that seem out of our control.  

Reflect on these verses:

  • Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your
    requests be made known to God.  Philippians 4:6
  •  If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. John 15:7
  • Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.  Romans 8:26

The fact of the matter is that we should be placing our hope in our Lord and nothing else.  Start the new year making your faith stronger by believing that God is sovereign and by faith you can go to Him for help. My encouragement to you is do not look to 2022, you will only be disappointed as you have been so many times before.  Hope in the Lord and you will never be disappointed!  

Posted by Bryan Gotcher with

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