… for whom I am again in anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you (Galatians 4:19).
Hard to believe 2013 is here. Was it just me, or did 2012 go by in a blur? When I look back and slow the tape down, if you will, I see that God did some marvelous things at ARBC:
- He brought some incredible people into a church already filled with incredible people ready to mature and mobilize in Christ (69 have joined the church this year!).
- He has allowed us to participate in some great neighborhood outreaches.
- He is using us to develop men and women in Christ to make an impact in our homes, jobs, and schools.
- Our worship gatherings have been filled with a ‘serious joy,’ in that we take God’s Word seriously, and His Spirit is filling His people with the joy of Christ!
- A growing desire is taking place among our people to go deeper in the Word and a desire to be discipled in Christ.
I could go on about what God is doing here in looking back at 2012, but soon 2012 will be ‘last year.’ What does 2013 have in store? Honestly, only God knows what He has planned for our church. But I do know that of the things I see Him bringing over the horizon, 2013 could bring be a very special, Christ-exalting year in the life of ARBC.
My aim for 2013 in seeing the glory of the gospel spread from Centennial to the corners of creation is this: Christ formed in you (see Galatians 4:19). Here are some ‘resolutions’ I would encourage you to embrace in the year ahead:
- Bury yourself in the Word and prayer. Find a good Bible reading plan that will take you through the Scriptures. If you have Internet, http://www.youversion.com has a ton of Bible reading plans—and yes, smartphone users, they have an app. You can even download the ESV Bible app for free! I use it everyday and I praise God for it. I also recommend two great books on prayer: Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan prayers that are food for my soul; and Developing a Healthy Prayer Life: 31 Meditations on Communing with God by James Beeke and Joel Beeke.
- Commit to attending our worship gatherings (Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night). Hebrews 10:25 not only commands it for our own good, but shows some significant benefits to our Christian walk. If
- Commit to a Sunday morning small group. These are more intimate settings where teaching and dialoguing about the Scriptures can take place. Plus, you develop friendships that last outside the class and the church. We cannot do this alone! We need these relationships to help strengthen our main relationship with Christ.
- Be a part of our monthly family conferences (business meetings) on Sunday nights: Do you realize that you can participate in the goings-on of our church? You can ask questions, make suggestions, and just learn about what’s going on with our various ministry teams. As a member, you can even vote. How wonderful it is to have a part in our church in this way! Don’t miss out!
- Do a Hi-Five: There are 401K Plans. Here is a 261K Plan—signifying the 261,000 people that live in a five-mile radius of our church. The Hi-Five seeks to make a dent in this: Make a list of five people you know that need Christ or at least need a church home where they can mature and minister for the cause of Christ. Pray for them. Then Invite-Invest-and Involve them in the Lord’s work here as they submit to the Lord’s Word in their hearts! Remember, Paul’s aim and ours is “Christ formed in you.” Who’s on your Hi-Five? Let us know so we can begin praying for them specifically on Wednesday nights.
May God grant you a blessed 2013! On the mountaintops or in the valleys, He has promised to walk with us all the way. What needs to happen and what obstacles need to be removed for Christ to be formed in you and in others?