It's Still All About Him!
Another year is upon us. What will it bring? How will it end? Do you have a choice? Some say “No” and resign themselves to fate – what will be, will be. We call this fatalism. Others say “Yes, I do have a choice. I can choose to make my own memories. I can choose which life I want to live. I do have control over my destiny.” We call this optimism, governed by the power of positive thinking.
I would like to recommend a third option for your consideration which says, Yes, you do have a choice. You can choose to make your own memories, but you don’t have to do that alone. I choose to invite Jesus to be my partner, to help me make good choices, that will result in good memories and the best experiences of life I could ever hope or wish for. I choose to put Jesus in the driver’s seat this year. I choose to give Him the controls. I choose to make Him the center of my life, my plans, my present, and my future. I want Him to control what I think, what I say, and what I do, as is expressed in Galatians 2:20 NLT, “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” It’s all about Him!
Does this sound familiar? If you read my newsletter article of exactly one year ago, then you may remember some of the above. So, why do I repeat it? Because I still believe it! I have in the past 12 months not made any new discoveries that would want to make me change my aspirations and choices for 2018. Last year I said “It’s all about Him,” and this year I say, “It’s still all about Him!”
I still want Jesus to be the center of my choices, my thinking, my relationships, my everything! In the January newsletter of 2017, I quoted Hebrews 3:14. I said: “I need a Champion, Someone who is stronger and more powerful than the devil, and better still, Someone who has already conquered him (Hebrews 2:14-15). This gives me hope and confidence to face whatever challenges this new year may bring, because it’s all about Him!” It was only a few days into the new year on January 6, when Jesus proved Himself a Champion and stronger than the devil, when he freed a young man, Houston Garcia, from the bondage of demon possession, right here in our Youth Chapel.
It’s still all about Him, even though this past year we have held memorials – for Kay Smith, Torrie Jones, Dick McAdams, Doris Williams, and Dorothy Williams, five precious souls who will soon be resurrected to see Jesus in glory! It’s still about Him, because we have also witnessed His power in leading five more precious souls into His family through baptism – Jonny Oster, David Rodgers, Perelina Hall, Terral and Linda Olds.
Last year I asked the question, “What am I going to preach about in this new year?” I said I was going to follow the advice of a wise author who I believe was inspired by God when she wrote, “Let the science of salvation be the burden of every sermon . . .,” and “no discourse should ever be preached without presenting Christ and Him crucified as the foundation of the gospel” Evangelism, 185-186. Have I done that? Yes, I believe I have, and have enjoyed the journey with you as we focused on Jesus as the Center of our lives, in the first part of the year, and then for the last part focused on finding Jesus in End-Time events.
The question now comes, “Where are we going in our sermon studies this new year 2018?” I am guided by the inspiration that comes from the following statements:
- “In order to be rightly understood and appreciated, every truth in the Word of God, from Genesis to Revelation, must be studied in the light that streams from the cross of Calvary” Evangelism, 190.
- There is one great central truth to be kept ever before the mind in the searching of the Scriptures – Christ and Him crucified. Every other truth is invested with influence and power corresponding to its relation to this theme. Ellen White, The Faith I Live By, 50.
Firstly, we will have our Ten Days of Prayer, January 10-20, meeting each night for one hour, 7:00-8:00, to reflect on Jesus, our High Priest. Come and join us for this spiritual feast to set the tone for the year. Secondly, for my sermons, I have chosen to do a study from the book of Isaiah, searching out the themes that tell me more about Jesus. I want to ask you to join me on this journey of spiritual discovery. Pray with me for a rich and abundant outpouring of His Spirit as we come to worship Him! It’s still all about Him, and always will be!
What are my personal choices for the new year? The same as last year. They focused on three areas – daily prayer, Bible reading, and physical exercise. What are your choices? Choose to make Him the center of your life, your work, your family, your leisure, and see Him work. Expect Him to show up, and don’t be surprised when He does. He may have a different agenda to your own. Surrender yours to His. Allow Him to be in control and enjoy the ride. He’s an amazing Friend and Companion!