As we enter this new year, once again we are heading into a year that is filled with a great level of uncertainty and anxiety. Generally, on New Year’s Eve, people make all kinds of resolutions about what they hope to achieve in the new year that will make them better people. I am always struck by the increase in attendance at Esporta (formerly LA Fitness) in the first two weeks of the new year. These weeks are usually the busiest time of the year as people try to follow through on their New Year’s resolutions to get more fit. This usually doesn’t last past two weeks, but this year there has been virtually no New Year’s attendance bounce, as people are staying away out of fear of the omicron virus. In fact, attendance is actually down since Christmas at the gym. I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, but I was struck this week as I was listening to Star radio by their suggestion to not have a New Year’s resolution, but rather to have a word that you would like to characterize your 2022 by. I thought that was an interesting challenge and came up with the word I want to symbolize my 2022 – “comeback”. It is my deep desire to see NDC make a significant comeback in 2022. We have had many great challenges over the last two years, but great challenges make for great “comebacks”. I love a good comeback story, that’s part of the reason I enjoyed so much the Kurt Warner movie entitled, “American Underdog”, which I thought was totally appropriate family entertainment.
In 2021 I had some significant personal challenges, which included having a left knee replacement surgery. There were other losses that were emotionally difficult, but I believe that God is still at work, and I believe the most important thing I can do in following the Lord Jesus Christ and being an agent in comebacks is to be obedient to the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word. Regarding living in obedience to God’s Word, I believe Paul’s writings offer good guidance and counsel for us if we are to make 2022 a year of comebacks. In Colossians 3:17 we read, “and 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). That’s a pretty good place to start in making a comeback. If something in my life can’t be done in Jesus’ name, then I shouldn’t do it. God is interested in all the choices that I make, so using the criteria on whether something can be done in Jesus’s name is a really good beginning point for all decision-making in a year of comebacks. A second verse that also highlights this decision-making process in making comebacks is found in 1 Corinthians 10:31 where Paul writes, “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God”, (NASB).
As we enter 2022 in what we know will be another year of great challenge and difficulties let us begin our decision-making process by asking the question, “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 follow these two simple principles in our relationships with each other and in our service for the body of Christ. I hope 2022 finds us doing everything in Jesus’ name and all for the glory of our great God in heaven. These principles are important first steps in any great Christian comeback story. Maybe you too can come up with a word you’d like your life to be characterized by in 2022. Remember God is more interested in the general direction and character of our lives, as revealed in all the choices that we make than He is in any resolution we make to be a better person in 2022.
Faithfully serving Jesus in 2022,
Pastor Rich Sivo