We are literally only a few days away from a new year and a new decade! And it got me thinking about new year resolutions. I’ve got to be honest, I don’t usually get on the ‘resolution train’. I’m not naturally a planner, and I’m most comfortable when I’m just “going with the flow”. My wife Michanne finds it baffling how unconscious I am of the future. She lives and operates with the next 2 weeks in mind (sometimes even the next 2 years!). Whereas, I live with the next day in mind (at most!) and rely heavily on calendars and my wife’s planning tips! With all this being said, I did think about what my resolution or goal would be if I had to make one. I think I would simply say I want Christ to be more central in my life. I know it sounds cliché, and like your typical Sunday School answer… but I’m being serious. I simply cannot think of anything more valuable or important.
I was recently listening to a podcast with two older pastors fast-approaching retirement. They were talking about what helped sustain them in ministry for over 40 years. The way they spoke really touched me. It was so simple. There wasn’t really anything I hadn’t heard before. No new strategies, tips or anything like that. But what shined through was their simple love for Jesus. Again and again they kept encouraging listeners to make Jesus absolutely central. One of the pastors said, “You simply won’t last if you think that you can will your way into a lifetime of ministry. It is only by repeatedly discovering a surpassing joy in Jesus that will sustain you”. Pastor or not, that applies to every single believer. All of us are called to minister to others with the gifts and resources that God has entrusted to us. And it is only the goodness and grace and glory of God that give us the power to serve God. Only by discovering abundant life in him, will we find the power to live for him.
I absolutely love the idea behind 1 John 3:2, where it says, ‘Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is’. Did you catch that?! When Jesus appears, we shall become like him. How? Just by seeing him… He must be so glorious, that simply seeing him face to face completely transforms. So, I guess if we want to make Christ more central in our lives, we must simply ask God to show us more of Christ. For, the more we see him, the more we will desire his presence, and the more we will become like him. It is my prayer that 2020 will mark a year of seeing more of Jesus in our lives and in our church.
Love and grace,