Encouragement From The Word

Resolving, Together!

What does the changing of the year mean for you?  For some, it means going to a party, and counting down the clock to the stroke of midnight, toasting the year that was and the year that will be.  For others, being with loved ones, with or without the party, is what matters.  Still others are resolution-makers.

There’s a lot of money tied up in New Year’s Resolutions.  Take a look at the commercials on television after Christmas:  gyms, weight loss programs, and stop-smoking-regimens all promise to make the you of 2011 better in 2012…even if the old you was just fine, thank you very much, as far as you were concerned.

There can be great value in making resolutions, whether at the turn of the year or otherwise, particularly when we share our resolutions with others.  That way, those with whom we share our resolutions can help to make us accountable to keep them.

This is one of the reasons for the existence of the church.

God knows us inside-out, and he knows that we aren’t strong enough to grow as disciples of Jesus  on our own.  We need community.   We need support.  We need each other.  That’s why we need the church.

We’ve tended to think of the church as a building – “Oh, look at the pretty church!” we might say as we drive by an historic old edifice.  But that’s not really the church; that’s just the church building, the place where the church meets.  The church itself, by definition, is the people – “those called out” is what the Greek word (ecclesia) means.  The church comprises those called out from a life that leads to death to a life that leads to new life (and their children).

The church, and particularly a small group in which you participate within the church, can be a great place to share your burdens, and to declare your resolutions.  These sisters and brothers can help you be all that you can be in the Lord.

If you’re going to resolve to do anything this year, I’d suggest you resolve to be the church.  Going to church is great, but being the church is amazing.  It’s part of God’s plan for you and me as followers of Jesus.  The church is Jesus’ bride, so let’s resolve to be the church in 2012, and beyond!

And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near” (Hebrews 10.25, NLT).

God’s best for your year!