January 1, 2017 – New Years Day! After missing every Sunday but one last December I arrived at church that morning with my fresh new note pad and index cards. I often leave the big house with at least a page of “Notes to Shane”, sometimes two. However, on this Sunday I left with just one single point, which was the closing statement from the sermon. It was perfect on multiple levels. That’s how it works.
Perfect direction for the start of a new year. Perfect direction for where my faith is at this point in my life. Perfect direction for the next chapter. Ben Blackwell’s closing statement………”Take your place in God’s story and let Jesus be known through you”.
In other words, stop trying to write YOUR story Shane and take your place in MY story. Ponder those words for a moment. That’s strong. New year, new directive! Again, that’s how it works.
2016 is in the books but if I learned anything this past year it was this, “Never underestimate what God can do in you and through you”. Those are the words John Riggin closed his sermon with on March 29, 2016. I wrote them down in that little book too, even underlined them. I’m going to take those words with me into 2017.
I’m also going to take with me the “1:6” verses, another product of 2016. There are four of them, specifically:
- Philippians 1:6 – He who began a good work in you will see it through to completion…..
- Philemon 1:6 – Be active in sharing your faith…….
- Romans 1:6 – You are among those who have been called to belong to Christ….
- James 1:6 – When you ask, believe and do not doubt……
I didn’t realize it but looking back I had mainly been working at writing my story (focus on Shane). That is what the world tells us right? Be The Man! The one with the plan! Regardless of what the world tells us, God’s plan isn’t for me to write my story. God’s plan is for me to take my place in His story (focus on Him).
This is what he wants from all of us, participation. We all have a part should we choose to participate. The role is simple. Identify the gift He has given you. Put it to work for His kingdom. Let Him do the rest. Just do your part.
If you are looking for a change in 2017 try what worked for me in 2016:
- Know that you are called to belong to Christ.
- Know that if he begins a good work in you that He will see it through to completion.
- Be active in sharing your faith.
- Believe and do not doubt.
- Never underestimate what God can do in you and through you.
What do you have to lose? Nothing. Trust me.
Get in the boat. Do your part.
1:6 / Nose to Toes / #16…….. (Does this make more sense now?)