Credit for inspiration for this article goes to Pastor James Emery White of Mecklenburg Community Church and his articles at ChurchandCulture.org.Â
Eat fewer sweets. Quit smoking. Exercise. Lose Weight. Build muscle. Walk. Run. Make a budget and stick to it. Learn how to play an instrument. Be home more often. Work less. Play more.
Do you have any resolutions you are going to make this year? It is that time of year. As we reflect on the past year, and look forward to a brand new year, we tend to make our resolutions of what we will do more, or less, in that coming year.
Around what types of topics do you resolutions revolve? Money, health, work, stress? Do you want to make any resolutions that are good for your spirit â€“ good for your life of faith?Â Should we make any resolutions together as a church â€“ for the good of our mission, our ministry, and ultimately the kingdom of our Christ, whom we serve?
We probably could. We probably should. Consider the following resolutions that can be drawn out of Godâ€™s Word itself:
Pray more. So he said to me, â€œThis is the word of the Lordâ€¦ â€˜Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,â€™â€ says the Lord Almighty. (Zechariah 4:6, NIV)
Care for myself spiritually. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. (Philippians 3:12, NIV)
Confront debilitating patterns of sin. Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Hebrews 12:1, NIV)
Invest in your spiritual gifts. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. (I Timothy 4:14-15, NIV)
So, those are for you. How about for our church?Â Consider these:
Get more intentional about evangelism. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. (I Corinthians 9:22, NIV)
Make the tough decisions you know are best. And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me â€” the task of testifying to the gospel of Godâ€™s grace. (Acts 20:22-24, NIV)
Stay focused on the mission and vision. They devoted themselves to the apostlesâ€™ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayerâ€¦praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42-47, NIV)
Resolutions are intended to better ourselves and accomplish more. Wouldnâ€™t it be great if we could better our church and accomplish more for Christ and his kingdom?Â Wouldnâ€™t it be great if we could devote ourselves more and more to his Word, his mission to share the good news of Jesus with more and more people?Â Wouldnâ€™t it be great if we had even more participation, involvement, and comradery among all the members of our congregation?
Weâ€™ve resolved that we are going to try. Our annual Fruits of Faith day â€“ the day on which we focus on our mission as a congregation and how we will carry that out together â€“ will focus on resolutions we can make as a church.Â It will focus on those resolutions so that we can better grow in Godâ€™s Word and share the love of our Beautiful Savior in line with our mission and our vision. We will gather together for an extended time on January 31st to make those resolutions together, and move forward as we carry out our work for Christâ€™s kingdom.
Please pray that God will strengthen and encourage all of us to carry out these resolutions to the best of our abilities, so that through us God will build his greater church and reach more and more people with the good news of Jesus and the peace he brings.
Beautiful Saviorâ€™s newsletter articles in 2016 will focus on our mission and ministry as a congregation. It is Pastor Boushekâ€™s prayer these articles will encourage you in your participation in Beautiful Saviorâ€™s mission and ministry, so that all of us together can give glory to God as we serve him and our community.