Happy New Year! May your life in 2014 be filled up, shaken, pressed down and overflowing with God’s blessings; that’s a whole lot of blessings. Ok, with that said, we might as well get started for, “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man,” Proverbs 6:10.
So why study John as our next book? Three quick reasons: First, we have not studied a gospel book for two years and therefore it is time to return to one. Second, the book of John will give us a distinctive insight into the nature and person of Jesus Christ that is separate from the synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. Third, John’s overall theme in writing his book was to believe his testimony and have life; believe and live. This then is a powerful story of how a person can live a life overflowing with God’s blessings.
Let’s get going, it is not necessarily a bumpy ride, but it will be challenging and empowering for you personally and our church.
Grab the reins and let’s go; Giddy-up!
Happy Birthday N.V.C.C; you did it – yip, yip yippee! It’s our first birthday and it offers us a moment of pause; a reflection not on our hopes, but on Christ’s expectations for his Church.
I think one such expectation is that we are a congregation not filled with dead orthodoxy. By that I mean we are not relying on rote worship, repetitive liturgy, and some governing body’s dictates leading to a dead faith. Instead, we emphasize the heart of Christ which is found in the Bible. Philipp Spencer once said, “Christianity was not real if it is not felt; it is not authentic if it was not experienced.” Our response is not only knowing orthodoxy, but also orthopracy.
As we start year two, I hope we continue to seek the authentic Christ. The Christ of the cross, the son of God, the resurrected conquering savior, who fills the believer up with the Holy Ghost, forgives them down to their toes, and overflows to those who don’t know him.
Last week I said, “As holidays go Thanksgiving is our nicest holiday.” This is because it is celebrated quietly with little fanfare. Tempus fugit and that quite old day was upon us and now gone. I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving.
Before us now is Christmas and it has become a monster that in no way resembles the principles of Christ. Christmas, like Thanksgiving, is only one day, yet long before it arrives the ballyhoo of ads has begun. We are bombarded with not so clever songs, sales and flashing lights all designed to motivate us into opening our wallets. I have concluded Christmas day cannot live up to the hype that precedes it; no wonder so many are depressed on a day that should be one of great joy.
Oswald Chamber’s said about the birth of Jesus, “The great miracle of creation slipped into the ordinary life of a child.” I’m thinking there is a better way to celebrate the birth of our savior: Keep the day ordinary, keep it simple, and don’t let it overwhelm the miracle.
Keep it simple,