06 January 2019
Happy New Year
Last Week Pastor Andrew’s sermon was a wonderful reminder about God being good and how we are saved by God’s grace and mercy.
As we look to the New Year, I’m sure all of us have goals or resolutions that we want to accomplish this year. Would anyone like to share with us what some of their goals might be for this year. I’d like to lose my six-pack and probably come down to a 12-pack!
As Christians, we know that we have been saved by God’s grace. We know that God is in control of our lives and that nothing happens without his knowledge. We have made the conscious decision to allow Jesus into our hearts and through prayers and worship we try our very best to give Glory to God in all that we do. Well, at least that’s what we should all be trying to do.
The start of the New Year is the perfect time to review what being a Christian means:
- You are forgiven
This means that nothing in your past has a hold over you now. Its been wiped clean. The cross is a testament to that.
- You are now a Child of God
Many people often struggle with identity. I do. Who am I? What defines me? Is it my nationality? Is it my name? Is it the color of my skin? Is the langauge I speak? All fo these things don’t matter when we understand that God has reconciled us to him and we can now call ourselves children of God. What an honor that is!
- You have new Life because Christ dwells within you
In my first sermon at this church I spoke about a painting of Jesus standing at the door and knocking. I hope that we have all let him in. The Christian Life is about allowing Jesus into your heart and letting him take control of every aspect of your life. This can be done through prayer and fellowship and listening to the Holy Spirit.
- You have eternal life
Death no longer has its grip over your life. You needn’t fear death and you needn’t fear this life. God has given you eternal life. Do all you can in this life to enjoy the fruits of eternal life. When you think about the fact that as Christians we have eternal life waiting for us, the fear of disease, the fear of death no longer has control over us. We can live each day to the fullest because we look ahead to eternal life.
- We are forgiven
- We are children of God
- We have New Life because Chirst dwells in us
- We have eternal Life
However even though we know and understand the treasure and joy that leading a Christian life brings, we still struggle with stress, worry and anxiety. That sounds like a contradiction to me. So, why does this happen? Why are we so apt to worry and stress even though we know that God is good and that God is in control.
The answer is simple- it’s because we are human and as a result we tend to rely more on ourselves and those around us and less on God. God says in his word, never will I leave you nor will I forsake you.
So, as you set your goals for the New Year, know that God wants to give you the desires of your heart but in seeking those desires, don’t lose sight of what is truly important.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
To conclude the message today – Are any of you familair with the Poem titled ‘Footprints’? It’s a wonderful poem and for the benefit of those who are not familiar with it, I’d like to share it with all of you. The words will come up on the screen so you can follow in Japanese as well.
Friends, as Christians the greatest strength we can have is from knowing that God is a God of mercy and grace. No matter who we are or where we’ve come from or what we’ve done and why we are here, we are a part of God’s plan. So, once you have given your life to Jesus and have decided to follow him, you can take full confidence from the fact that your wishes and your dreams and your goals can and will be achieved if you seek first his kingdom.