Happy New Year!

2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Not sure about you all, but I look forward to the New Year as a time to reassess where I’ve been and concretely direct where the Lord is prayerfully leading me now. The word to focus on is “new” in our continuing walk with Christ. See if what follows makes sense as I reflect on what a “new you” should take into consideration.

How has our gracious King stretched and grown you during this last year? Is your spiritual progress visible to those who know you? Can you sense and genuinely see the Spirit’s work within you, transforming you more and more into the image of Christ? Is there a fervor in you to know God better and live in a manner pleasing to Him? Where have you encountered resistance to “putting off the old man” inside, and have you taken steps to address that resistance? By no means can I say our maturation in faith is a consistent exponential curve, but do we daily strive for the upward way? Do we intensely pray that God shows us (daily!) our acute need of Christ and the incalculable value of his gospel? Don’t think anyone needs to draw you a diagram to show what would happen if we actually engaged in addressing these questions!

Whether we admit it or not, too often our Christian journey is one of apathy and passivity. It is something we take by the numbers rather than enthusiastically pursuing. We don’t see ourselves as a “new creation” remade by God from death in our sin, but just someone – well, let’s simply say, only really in need of light remodel… Ever wonder why this is?

Usually, this is due to treating our faith as something we get around to once the rest of life is adequately taken care of. The world fools us into thinking it has the real solutions we need for our problems rather than searching through the rich wisdom of God’s holy word. The world continually makes light of sin, if not actually promoting it! We are deceived from grasping the absolute majesty, glory, power, and holiness of God which should make us sprint towards Christ in our fallen state. The inherent problem with the world’s deception is that we starve our lives from the true Source of it!

Your church and its leadership are here to help you grow spiritually. To help you better know Christ and him crucified. To develop deep, loving, lasting relationships within the family of God. And, of course, to learn to serve one another and the community in which we are located. So, come this New Year, we have a couple of things that will stretch you beginning January 9th (The first day of adult and children’s Sunday School). The adult class will be starting “Dust to Glory,” an R.C. Sproul DVD series that is a massive overview of the entire Bible. R.C. Sproul himself said it is Ligonier’s most important teaching tool they’ve produced! On Wednesday, the 12th of January at 6:30pm, the Men’s Study will reconvene and launch into Deuteronomy. This Old Testament book is the third most quoted in the New Testament and has very important lessons we can apply today.

Lastly, my hope is in this New Year we as the church of Jesus Christ turn on the prayer. I would love for 2022 to be a year of unprecedented prayer for Christ Alone and for the world! Prayer is an indication that we know to turn to God for what we as a church and individuals need most. Pray for us to personally know the gospel and for it to be regularly on our lips. Pray for families to overrun our pews! Pray for the Spirit to mature us like never before. Pray for our witness to be heard and responded to in Allouez and beyond. Pray for Christ to unmovingly be the center of all who we are and do. Make these your daily prayer objectives as we prepare to flip that calendar page. And if you haven’t heard me yet, please join us for corporate prayer Sunday afternoon at 4pm, and Tuesdays at 10:30am. Corporate prayer historically and biblically has ALWAYS preceded true revival.

May the Holy Spirit bless you and yours with a remarkable newness reflecting the glory of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in 2022!

In His love,

John