As we prepare to enter a new year, there has probably never been a year so filled with as much uncertainty as 2021. Generally, on New Year’s Eve people make all kinds of resolutions of what they hope to achieve in the New Year. I’m always amazed by my gym membership, that the first two weeks after New Year’s Eve are usually the busiest time of the year at the gym, as people follow through on their New Year’s resolutions. But it usually only lasts for two weeks. Many times people resolve to lose weight in the New Year. Making resolutions about what we hope to achieve or accomplish in the New Year can be a good thing, but I think it’s much more important to realize that the general direction and character of our life is revealed in all the choices that we make. It’s not just about the resolutions that we make, but about all the choices we make leading into 2021 and beyond.
I don’t know for certain what 2021 holds for my life or the life of our church. My prayer is that God will very much show up in a very powerful way in the life of our church and in my life as well. I am scheduled to have knee replacement surgery on March 12 this coming year. To say that I’m less than excited about that prospect only indicates to you the depth of the pain in my left knee over the last few months. As I prepare for that surgery in the 10 weeks leading up to my surgery, I will be doing everything I can to lose 20 pounds. I think having a considerable weight loss leading up to my surgery will be very helpful in the recovery process. To achieve this goal, I will be seeking to follow a combination of the Mayo Clinic diet and Mediterranean diet. My doctor also wants me to receive the vaccine for covid-19 before my surgery, so I guess that will be part of the plan, if it could be worked out. But more important to me than even my doctor’s instruction, as I prepare for surgery, is to be living in obedience to God’s Word.
Regarding living in obedience to God’s Word I believe Paul’s writings have some very good guidance and counsel for us as we enter this New Year. In Colossians 3:17 we read his words when he writes, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father,” (NASB). If something in my life can’t be done in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, then I shouldn’t do it. God is interested in all the choices that I make, so using this criteria on whether a thing can be done in Jesus’s name is a really good beginning point for any decision making in 2021. A second verse that also highlights the decision-making process is found in 1 Corinthians 10:31 where Paul writes, “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God,” (NASB). So, a very good starting point for any decision-making in 2021 is “can this activity, thought or practice be done in Jesus name and can God be glorified through it?” Think about how blessed our lives would be if we followed these two simple principles in our relationships with others and our service in the body of Christ. I hope 2021 finds you doing everything in Jesus’ name and all for God’s glory, these are principles I hope to follow myself as I continue to pursue growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the King’s service,
Pastor Rich Sivo