January! Really, already, well...Happy New Year! I'm praying that your year to come will be a faith filled, joy filled, hope filled New Year. In each year there are events and thoughts that encourage and challenge us. In all that you may hear in this year I pray the promises of Jesus guard your heart and mind.These promises of God in Christ Jesus are to comfort, encourage, and empower us to live a faith filled, joy filled, hope filled year.
Much of our joy and peace have to do with our world view; what we believe about our world, what is wrong with it, what is right in it, and what the answer is for saving us and our world. There are really two world views. There is a world view that is an acknowledgement of God and God’s ways. Or a world view which is against God’s way and the Savior Jesus Christ. You could call these seeking God Who Saves or an anti-Christ world views. The world view that is based on God's revelation given to us in His written word the Bible, and God's living Word Jesus our Christ, is also a revealing about who we can be in Christ, and as His people. What we know and believe about ourselves, and our world view determine what we do, what we think about, and the direction we believe we need to take.
Dr. Timothy Warner has said , "Your belief about yourself determines your behavior." Jesus said, "As a person thinks in their heart so they are." So who we believe we are, or what we think about ourselves has significant influence on what we say, think, and do. Dr. Neil Anderson put it this way: "Understanding your identity in Christ is absolutely essential for your success at living a victorious Christian life."
A tool that may help you remember and know the promises of God is the Daily Text . We have ordered a number of Daily Texts that I hope you will make use of to remember the promises of God. In the front of the books there is a helpful idea that I will be using instead of a New Year's resolution this year. It comes form an influential teacher of the 16th century, St. Ignatius. He asked his students to list their greatest hope for the coming year, what he called Consolation. Then he asked what their greatest fear, or desolation was, and had them write both down. Then he asked them to form a prayer for the year that included both their desolation and their consolation. It can be a wonderful way to gain hope and direction for your year. It will influence your view of your world.
I pray that you see yourself as accepted, secure, and significant in Christ. Jesus gives you high regard and high value. As you move into 2019, may the power of God given by grace, that raised Jesus from the dead, lift your heart, enliven your faith, hope, and joy, and move you to live the love of Jesus. Jesus knows us, loves us, and is our way, reveals all truth, including about who we are in Him, and makes the way for us in joy or storm. May this year not only be a happy or fun new year, but a joy filled new year. Happy and fun are good, but as one author wrote, "Fun is to joy, as a puddle is to the depths of the sea." May you dive into the depths of the Joy God desires for you in Him!
Working with you for your joy and peace in Christ Pastor Knoll
400 N Sawyer St, Oshkosh, WI 54902