“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” —Philippians 3:13–14 (NIV)
Starting the New Year with clear intentions is a good idea. For Christians, that includes asking, “What does it mean to follow Jesus?” and “What will we do this year to grow in our ‘follow-ship’ and our faith?”
Later this month, you will receive a letter from our Senior Pastor asking you to consider, pray, think, and act during January:
- Participate in our church-wide 40 Days of Prayer. What is God calling you to in 2017? How about TUMC?
- Read and reflect on John 21.1-19. When the Risen Christ appears to his disciples, he asks this question: “Do you love me?” How do we respond? What does Jesus say?
- Pray about the stewardship decision God is calling you to make. Proportional and regular giving in support of Christ’s ministries is spiritual growth grounded in Biblical wisdom.
Methodist founder John Wesley often said, “Having faith that God loves the world is not the faith that saves. The faith that saves is when you trust that God loves you, that Christ gave his life for you, that Jesus loves you and calls you to follow him.”
It is our prayer you will make and keep a renewed resolution to follow Jesus this year and that your life will be richly blessed in the doing:
Jesus, you meet us at the water’s edge of our ordinary lives. You accept us lovingly, you encourage us directly, you point us toward abundance. Nourished by the food of your word, warmed by the fire of your love, may we in turn nourish, heal, protect and love those we meet today. May we show our love for you as we follow in your Way. Amen.
In Christ’s name,
Rev. David Gilliam