Message from the Pastor
Dear Sisters, Brothers and Friends,
I think ministers must be on the mailing list of every conceivable organization and charity in the United States of America. Much of the mail I receive (about 50%) is what is commonly called “junk mail.” This week as I was thumbing through the “junk mail,” I received two pieces, one of which offered the captivating guarantee of providing me all the insights I would need to make 2021 “the best year ever. Take advantage of the New Year.” The other promised to make a new “me,” or “a new you in the New Year.” I put together these words from these two pieces of junk mail to form this phrase “A new You in a New Year.”
Well, I will not turn to goofy advertisements but to God’s word for insights and instructions on how each of us can be “a new you in a New Year.” I believe the Apostle Paul, writing to the church at Philippi in (3: 1-11), gives a time-honored principle that worked in 63 A.D. and will work for us in 2021. I believe it was Edna St. Vincent Millay, who once shared, “I know that life must go on, but I forget just why.” We sometimes miss the great opportunities of life because we get sidetracked. I once heard the tale of a talented bloodhound in England that started a hunt by chasing a full grown male deer. During the chase a fox crossed his path, so he began now to chase the fox. A rabbit crossed his hunting path, so he began to chase the rabbit. After chasing the rabbit for a while, a tiny field mouse crossed his path, and he chased the mouse to the corner of a farmer’s barn. The bloodhound had begun the hunt chasing a prized deer for his master and wound up barking at a tiny mouse. It is a rare human being who can do three or four different things at a time, moving in different directions.
The Apostle Paul knew his number-one priority was to live his life to the honor and glory of God by preaching the Gospel. He wouldn’t allow anything to cross his path that would deter him from his priority. Paul knew that his new life was a gift from God, not from the promises of humanity. His life was to be lived for his Lord and Savior. Nothing would deter him from that priority! Did you know that you will be a new person on January 1, 2021, compared to who you were on January 1, 2020, because almost 98% of the atoms found in your body on January 1, 2021, were not present one year ago! The Bible also talks about our God “who can make ALL things new.” Paul declares in other portions of his writing that “If any person is in Christ Jesus, they are a new creation.” Yes, the Bible talks a great deal about us being a new people, but doesn’t have anything to do with atoms in our physical bodies. We are new people when we have the mind and attitude of Jesus Christ living inside us. This is the priority that the Apostle Paul urged the Christians at Philippi to adopt for the living out of their faith. It was Dr. Stanley Menking, who said that the necessity of time management-not as a legalist requirement, but as a resource for ministry to prevent the minor things from crowding out the “MAJORS.”
Now, Paul was a great time manger because he knew we can’t do three or four things at once or move in two or three different directions. This is why Apostle Paul writes, “This one thing I do.” This is why Jesus taught us in the Sermon on the Mount that we are to seek his kingdom first, and then the rest of our lives and priorities will fall into order.
My dear friends please do not lose your priority in life! You are living for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. Spend your time in 2021 doing one thing best for Christ and this Church and then let all the other items fall into place. Christ’s spirit lives best in his disciples who say, “This I will do,” rather than, “Something ought to be done around this place.” Pick a priority and then perform it to the best of your ability. May the spirit of Christ guide you help establish you priority today for a New You in a New Year.”
I wish you and yours a blessed and a healthy New Year.
God’s peace is with you!,