Sunday, January 1st, 2017 – Happy New Year! As you anticipate a new year, where is your hope? In whom is your purpose found? No doubt this year will be like every other year of your life – filled with joys and grief, enjoyments and challenges. How will you navigate this new year as you receive what God has in store for you?
During 2016, we planted some Scripture deep in the soil of our souls. It began with Philippians 3:7-11, where Paul pointed us to the ‘surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus – the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings.’ The heart of our mission/vision at Crestview Church is ‘Becoming Like Christ.’ This is really what we are all about as a faith community. And this is what we will continue to be about as we enter this new year.
We memorized a couple of other passages focused on the centrality of God’s word. 2 Timothy 3:16-18 and Hebrews 4:12-14 revealed that all of Scripture is ‘God-breathed’ and useful for growing up into maturity as a follower of Christ. It is like a ‘double edged sword’ that reveals truth. The Bible will continue to be our source of truth and guidance as a faith community moving into 2017.
We also focused on Jeremiah 9:23-24 where we are strongly encouraged by God to not boast in anything of our own (riches, strength, or wisdom), rather, we are to boast in one thing only, “our understanding and knowledge of God – that he is a doer of kindness, justice, and righteousness.” This points us back to the purpose and joy of our faith community: To grow in our knowledge and understanding of God. The better we know and understand God and his ways, the better we will know and understand God’s calling on our lives and how we ought to live and be.
So as we begin 2017, we will kick off a three week message series on January 8th reminding us of what we are all about here at Crestview: A Community of Grace, Truth, and Love. Then we will dive into the Gospel of Matthew and spend a year living into the life of Jesus. (We already started with our Advent series on Matthew’s genealogy.) Jesus is calling us to follow him as he says ‘follow me’ to each and every one of us. We will sit at his feet of teaching, witness his miracles, and walk the dusty paths of Galilee with him and his disciples.
My prayer for us is this: Ephesians 3:16-21, our new Text of the Quarter,
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through the Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! AMEN!”
May God bless us richly in answering this prayer for us in 2017 as a faith community.
On January 1st, Roger Tinklenberg will be bringing the message entitled, New Year’s Hope! The texts for the message will be from Joshua 5, Psalm 146, and 2 Peter 3. See you in the New Year!