As we begin the new year together, we begin with the book of James. I’m starting a sermon series on the book of James beginning this Sunday. James is a serious book. If you think about it, January is a serious month. The holidays are now behind us. The party is over, and now it’s time to get back to work. Time to get back to the business of living for God in the real world. No one is saying it is going to be easy, but God has given us his holy word to grow us, stretch us, comfort us, challenge us, and change us.
Many people make New Year’s resolutions as the year gets underway. Perhaps you do this every year. For some it’s to pray more and read the Bible more. Let me just say that’s a good one. It may be to get better organized, or our feet on more secure financial footing. For others it may be to eat less, and exercise more. That’s another good one.
My hope and prayer is that we will be “spiritually fit” in this new year of 2019. I think James embodies a special version of something that is very big in our society today and that is the fitness instructor or personal trainer. We are going to learn that he is tough as nails as our spiritual fitness instructor. James is going to push us and he’s going to tell us again and again that without pain there is no gain. Fortunately, he will also remind us over and over that in the end the outcome for our lives will be so worth it and so wonderful.
I love the prayer of Nancy Speigelberg: “Oh God of new beginnings and second chances, here I am again.” So here we go again into 2019 doggedly blundering toward heaven and James says for us not to get down on ourselves, because this is a long process of growing and maturing. That’s what we’re going be talking about on Sunday, and that’s what will be talking about over the next several weeks. And as always I hope you’ll join us.
Quote of the Week
“Being in Christ, it is safe to forget the past; it is possible to be sure of the future; it is possible to be diligent in the present.” Alexander MacLaren
Alexander Maclaren was an English non-conformist minister of Scottish origin.