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The Challenges of a New Year

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We had a beautiful experience this past Sunday as we observed the Lord’s Supper in our morning worship service.  The observance reminds us of the sacrifice Christ made in the past, the relationship that sacrifice made possible for the present time and the future we have in Christ.

It was good for us to begin our new church year participating in the observance of this memorial supper.  With all the challenges we have as individuals and as a church, we need the focus that this ordinance provides.  Our motivation for service and ministry is organized when we remember Christ’s sacrifice for our sins.  The relationship we have with Christ makes it possible for us to reach out in His love and build relationships with others and lead them to Christ.

The promise from Christ that He will return to take His church to heaven is a great motivator for each of us to endure, to remain faithful and to be steadfast in our devotion to our Lord.  This year will be filled with opportunities and experiences that will grow our faith and draw us closer to the Lord.  The work that Christ has called us to is the greatest work in all the world.  The Lord established the New Testament Church to fulfill His will and accomplish His purpose in this age.  He promises to be with us until the end of the age (Matthew 28:20).  May each of us look and pray to see where God is moving and join Him in His work.  To God be the Glory.

Radical Redirection

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I am constantly amazed at the mercy and grace of God that is available for His children.  In the morning worship service this past Sunday, I attempted to be transparent and share honestly my struggle to live a life committed and obedient to my Lord.  I know that God’s Word is true,  and when He says that "the Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41)," I can certainly say that is true in my life.

I discovered years ago that God had made it possible for me to experience a deep walk with Him.  Repenting of all known sin and surrendering all that I am to God leads to being filled with His Holy Spirit and enjoying intimate fellowship with God.  I had experienced that deep abiding fellowship with God and the anointing for service that God provides.  But the distractions and the cares of the world can draw us away from our fellowship with God and lead us to rebel against His will.

When we choose to go in the direction the world is leading us, or when we begin to live contrary to God’s plans for our life, we are in a state of rebellion.  When we operate independently of God’s will, choose to spend our time and resources pursuing our interests, we have rebelled against God. As children of God, His Spirit resides in us and the Spirit attempts to draw us back to God.  Through conviction and revelation of our sin, we are brought to see the state of our rebellion against God.  The revelation of the Spirit is to bring conviction and point us back to God.  We can repent--or continue in rebellion.  Repentance involves a change of heart and a change of direction.  God is attempting to radically redirect our lives back to Him to spare us from the destruction and consequence of remaining in sin and rebellion against God.

Thank the Lord that He is faithful to pursue us when we stray and is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us from acts of rebellion! He desires to redirect us back to fellowship with Him and a life of service and purpose.  Maybe, like me, you need for God to radically redirect your life and fill you with His Holy Spirit again.  O the joy of being in fellowship with God and in harmony with His will!

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