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I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1
As the Christmas season is drawing to a close, many of us turn and focus on beginning a new year. We think about the changes we want to make to improve our health, deepen our relationships, and reach lifelong goals. We look for new diets and exercise programs. We begin to reach out to restore wounded or broken relationships. We commit to become a better person.
I confess I’ve made more than my fair share of these resolutions in the last 25 years which soon were forgotten. It is too easy to return to our old habits, especially as life gets busy. Yet I still desire something better. Something new. What about you? Will you join me in doing a new thing this year?
Here is a resolution we can all keep, with God’s help: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embrace what God does for you; it is the best thing you can do for him.
No matter how many commitments we make, we cannot change ourselves. But when we willingly offer our lives to God, He will change us. Romans 12:2 says, “…be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” The renewing of our mind requires inward change and comes from God at work in us.
Before us stretches a new year, a new beginning. God invites us to forget about our distrust and fear, all the anxieties of the past, all the resentments we have been holding against others, all the grudges, all the criticisms—to put them away and begin again.
Accept instead the gift that is waiting for you every day, fresh from God’s hand. He offers you forgiveness, righteousness, and relationship. He is your dear Father and you are His cherished, beloved child. He has provided all you need, all day long, so that you may say no to evil and yes to truth and right.
Lord, thank You for this new year that lies before me. I choose You. I choose to depend on You, trust You, and accept from Your hand all that You would give me.
The Rev. Toni BrownChief Financial Officer
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