It’s… …IT’S… …2019!
Delivered By
From Pastor David
Delivered On
January 1, 2019
It’s… …IT’S… …2019!

We all knew it was inevitable.   We kept seeing it around the corner.  We even attempted to make things different as it was creeping closer.  And now…we officially say “HAPPY NEW YEAR.”  2018 had great moments…but 2019 promises 365 new and exciting days (8760 hours, 525600 minutes or 31,536,000 seconds) for each of us.  With the New Year comes resolutions.  “I will start a healthier lifestyle.” “I will be a better husband/wife/parent.” “I will focus on developing a new skill.” Well, we know our intentions.  With the promise of a new year, the real question is, “What would be the most important step in our lives we can take for Jesus?”  Could it be growing faithfulness, intentional witnessing, or proactive attitude? What would it take to actually put Christ first in everything?      

In Charles Sheldon’s book “In His Steps,” Rev. Henry Maxwell was preparing the Sunday sermon based on 1 Peter 2:21, “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.”  Interrupted by the doorbell, he went downstairs, and opened the door to find a homeless man.  Rev. Maxwell didn’t have anything to offer and the dejected man left with his hat in his hand.      Henry’s wife came home later and told him about a young man who came to the nursery holding a dirty hat in his hand.  They agreed it was the same man and went about their business.     

The next Sunday at First Church, the worship service was outstanding.  The music, the anthem, the prayer response, the sermon, everything bolstered the congregation.  “Suddenly into the midst of this perfect accord and concord between preacher and audience, there came a very remarkable interruption.” The sound of a man’s voice, the same man who had visited Henry earlier at his home, was standing in front of the church.  He shared his plight, not wanting anything from anyone, but offered a ponderable question, “What do you Christians mean by following the step of Jesus?”      

Now, that’s a great prompter for us to consider as we begin the first moment of 2019, “What does following Jesus mean?”  We each have our thoughts and Scripture has many verses for us to consider.        The First Church of Raymond found a true challenge in their midst that Sunday morning.  (January will be a great time to read the book and I have a couple copies I’ll be glad to lend.)  As we begin a new year as followers of Christ, laying claim to membership in the family of God, I wonder, if rather than church & life as usual, what would happen if we would pledge ourselves “earnestly and honestly for this entire year not to do anything without asking the question, ‘What Would Jesus Do?’”  (Remember WWJD?  Its hay day was in the 90’s but it truly is still the right and best way.)    

In the year 2019 of our Lord Jesus Christ, we are offered a new resolution.  There are a multitude of things we would like to do, like becoming more physically fit, a better husband or wife, or developing a new skill, all of which are good.  We, at Grace and all other Christian churches, have laid claim to be followers of Jesus Christ.  So, as we begin this new year let’s set our hearts and sights on growing our relationship with God by accepting the challenge to follow Jesus. Let’s truly ask God what He wants us to think, say and do for Him in order that our witness will be so compelling that folks will hunger for the spirit living in and through us.       

Is it a challenge?  You bet!  Do we step out alone?  Never!  Christ promises He’ll never leave us or forsake us.  Now, my precious sisters and brothers is our opportunity to truly show the Living Spirit to a starving world.  All it takes is for us to lift our foot to make the first step.  Before any decision is made, we need to seek our Lord’s intercession.  In all things, Christ first.  That our work!  Looking forward to a New Year in a new way……Pastor David.