Looking at a new year brings several emotions. When I look back at the resolutions / changes I was hoping for over the last year, some of them I actually did, and some continue to be on my resolution list (year after year.) 🙂
As I was thinking about 2014 and looking toward 2015, I was reminded of a comment from Ray Jones, the coordinator of Evangelism from the PCUSA, who came to Oil City in November and preached at our joint service with Hasson and Second Pres. One of the comments that Ray mentioned in his sermon was that Jesus tells us three very important things to remember. I want to use those three messages from Jesus to shape this coming year.
Ray reminded us that Jesus said:
- “I LOVE YOU!” Remember throughout this year – day after day, no matter what happens to you – through the joys and sorrows of the year: JESUS LOVES YOU! As you move through the next 12 months and you are challenged by the daily struggles of life… Remember that JESUS LOVES YOU! Jesus loves you unconditionally and forever. No matter what goes on this next year, remember that JESUS LOVES YOU!
- Jesus said, “TRUST ME!” Jesus told us throughout his lifetime, to trust him. As you move through this 2015 do so with the strength to TRUST JESUS. Know that Jesus loves you and cares for you….TRUST that Jesus will give you strength, hope, peace and JOY. TRUST that no matter what happens to you this year, Jesus will be present with you and will offer comfort in times of struggle and praise in times of joy.
- Jesus directs us to not fear: “DO NOT BE AFRAID.” Our world is a ‘fear filled’ world. Because we have connections to the whole world, we are exposed to every fearful event that happens each day. It is difficult to live in this age of high tech, without ‘fear.’ We need to hear the words of Jesus and work to move away from the temptation to be afraid. We need to put our trust in him. Jesus will help us control the fear that creeps into this life. Fear paralyzes us from being who God has created us to be. Fear controls our actions and keeps us from the joy that is around us. We will have times this year when life will be fearful, but during those times, remember Jesus’ words to us, ‘DO NOT BE AFRAID.’
Jesus will give you the strength to move through this next year with the knowledge that GOD is with us and that in the big picture we will be fine (even joyful)!
As a worshipping community, for our New Year’s Resolutions for this 2015, I would ask that together we pledge (resolve) to remember these three messages from Jesus to us. Each morning as you rise and each evening as you go to bed…..remember and repeat this message from Jesus:
- ‘I love you’
- ‘Trust me’
- ‘Do not be afraid’
It will be interesting to do this together and to note how this practice each day will shape this next year, both in your individual lives and in the life of this Worshipping community.
God bless you as you move to serve God in this way, and in ways that you have not yet imagined.