1-2-2020 – E-News

Happy New Year, Everyone!
This past year has been a very special one for my family. We are very excited for what 2020 has in store. It’s around this time of year that many of us, after having gorged ourselves during the holidays, make New Year’s resolutions. For some of us, we decide to eat better. For others, a decision is made to get in better shape. There are any number of things we can resolve to do in the year ahead to improve ourselves.
The unfortunate joke of our resolutions is that (at least for me) the vast majority of them last about 2 weeks. That’s when we remember why we hated exercise and healthy food in the first place! Our renewed commitments fall apart before they could ever really get going.
At times in our life, our faith can look much the same. We decide to recommit ourselves to a new relationship with Christ, one that’s more devoted and passionate than ever, only to have it fall apart just a few weeks later, as old habits spring back up. Why is that? How do we keep it from happening in the future?
In Isaiah 46, God reminds the people of Israel of a key concept that was meant to help them when various idols crossed their path. This same concept, while unbelievably simple, can help us today to keep to our commitments with the Lord.
“Remember this and stand firm,
recall it to mind, you transgressors,
remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
calling a bird of prey from the east,
the man of my counsel from a far country.
I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;
I have purposed, and I will do it.”
Remember God.
Remember His promises.
Remember what He has done and what He says He will do.
It’s something we all know to do, but often neglect doing. For me, thinking about something and remembering something are two totally different concepts. In our faith, we can often get caught thinking about God and what He says, without actually remembering what it all means.
Did you have a favorite place to visit when you were growing up? For me, it was Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state. The memories of the sights, smells, and silence of that place stir in me deep feelings of joy as I remember all the times I have traveled there. Times spent as a child with my family hiking the trails. Times spent there as an adult, with my wife Brandi, climbing some of the highest points possible without actually starting to summit the mountain itself. I don’t just think about that place. I remember it.
When it comes to Christ, we need to remember His promises, His sacrifice, His commands. The words of Scripture when coupled with our own life experiences should stir in us intense emotions that spur us forward in our pursuit of Him. It is not enough to think about Him and remain unmoved. When God tells us to remember, we must remember. And when we remember, then we can truly commit to the resolutions we make in our walks with Christ.
As for your New Year’s resolution to eat better and get to the gym? I’ve got nothing. I already broke mine.
Remembering and making new resolutions,
Pastor Andrew
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