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1 Thessalonians 1:3

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Pleasant Dale Church

4504 W 300 N, Decatur, IN

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The New Year


As I sat down to begin to write this newsletter. I stared at a blank white page wondering what God was putting on my heart to write. The more that I looked at the blank page the more I wondered if this is how we sometimes approach the beginning of a new year both in a positive and negative outlook. Yes, it is the start of a new year so we reflect on all the joy from the previous year, but have the memories, maybe scars, or open wounds, from the previous year too. As Christians we also know that each day of the year will bring a movement of the Holy Spirit, whether it be in the form of conviction or compelling joy. A blank white page is potential for trusting God for the year 2020.

Recently I have been reading through 1 Corinthians. Paul’s desperation for the Corinthian church to live a life that relies on the Holy Spirit and imitate the One whom came to save the world, Jesus, is evident. Paul specifically says, “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1). Upon reading these words of Paul and other times throughout his writings we may have an inclination to strive, work, or seek accomplishments of our good works. And yet I believe that Paul would remind us of how God works.

“God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:28-29 And so even in our pursuit of what we think it means to be imitators of Jesus we must know that it is God at work in ways that are beyond what we can fully understand or know. What we do know is that we are called to imitate Him.

He continues on to remind us that imitating and relying on the Spirit is because God has united us with Christ Jesus. It’s by Christ that we have been made right with God; and made pure and holy. Again, a desperate reminder that we have a blank page before us as God moves and works. And to add to our God’s amazing works, He has freed us from sin. Paul’s words display a God full of magnificent wisdom. He then closes these initial remarks recalling Jeremiah’s words of letting him who boasts, boast in the Lord.

Church, we have already begun a new year. I encourage you to stare into the year with an expectation that is similar to that of a blank white page. This is with an expectation that the Spirit of God will move, and when He does, will you be ready to move with Him? This leading moves us to imitate our King, Jesus. And may we go through each day relying on the Holy Spirit so that whatever we do, it’s done all to the glory of God. Might the things of 2020 that the world finds of importance be less, because of what Christ has done. May our blank white page for the year become a beautiful canvas of God’s work in our lives for His pleasure and glory.

In Christ,

Pastor Elliott


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