Happy New Year to you and your family! I hope that God has blessed you over the course of this Holiday season as I am sure many of you found time to settle down and gather with friends and family members. I also hope that you have found time to reflect and praise our Savior for coming to this earth and dying on the cross for our sins. Lastly, I pray that you have found a moment to reflect on 2016 as a whole. For some of you 2016 was the best year you have had yet. For others, it may have seemed like 2016 couldn’t end soon enough. Regardless of whether 2016 was a positive or negative experience for you, we all have one thing in common. That one thing is the opportunity for a new year or a new beginning in 2017. Someone once said that in regards to this opportunity, “The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written.” I like that quote because it gives us a vivid illustration of how everyone has the chance to write a new chapter about his or her life during the year of 2017. Now that you have that thought in mind, I want take this article and challenge you to do a couple of things this new year as you have the opportunity to begin a new chapter in your life.
The first thing I would challenge to do is this: Commit to live your life worthy of the gospel of Christ. As I reflected on what to write, my mind continued to go back to the beginning Philippians 1:27, which says, “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the Gospel of Christ...” In the book of Philippians, Paul is teaching the church at Philippi how to live the Christian life. For example, many of the believers feared that Paul was discouraged because of his imprisonment. So the apostle took the opportunity to let them know that he was anything but discouraged. He gets to the end of chapter 1 and he writes verse 27 to let them know that at the end of the day, the most important thing is this: let your life be worthy of the gospel of Christ. In other words, whether Paul is imprisoned for the remainder of his life or martyred for his faith, he wanted his readers to know that above all else, (no matter what happens to Paul) their life should honor and glorify Jesus Christ and his message of Salvation. They shouldn’t worry about Paul’s attitude, situation or outcome. The Church at Philippi (and us for that matter) should be concerned most importantly with bringing honor to the name of Christ and the good news of salvation.
Now, let me bring it into our context today: is your life worthy of the gospel of Christ? Can you say that the way you live brings honor and glory to the name of Jesus? Are you living in such a way that people know you follow the Lord? Do your kids see a reflection of Christ and his love in the way you live? If you answered no to these questions, let me encourage you by saying that 2017 brings a new year for you to commit to live your life worthy of the gospel of Christ. God’s grace can overflow in your life, and it can transform you in such a way that you can write a new chapter where Christ is honored and glorified through the way your live. Will you commit to live your life worthy of the gospel of Christ? I pray that this will happen in our lives in 2017.
Let me leave you with this final challenge. Not only should you commit to live your life worthy of the gospel of Christ, but you should also strive to teach your children and grandchildren to do the same. What if we raised a generation of children and grandchildren who lived their lives worthy of the gospel of Christ? I believe it would radically change our church, community and culture. I believe the Lord would use us to bring others to him, and most importantly, he would be glorified through us. Will you also commit to this challenge?
I hope and pray that when next year comes around, we all can say without a doubt that our lives and our children’s lives are worthy of the gospel of Christ. Therefore, I pray we will take this seriously, and strive to bring honor and glory to the name of Christ in 2017. Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Don’t forget the children’s ministry events coming up in January. For more details, take a look at this schedule below for more details. It is a privilege to serve you and your family as the children’s pastor, and I pray the Lord blesses you all in the month of January.
For His Glory Alone,
Children’s Pastor | 1 Corinthians 15:10
Notarizing Luncheon | January 8, 2017
Ice Skating Day | January 15, 2017