Do you know what kind of person you long to be? I don’t mean in the vague sense that you want to be a loving woman or man or a good Christian. I’m talking about being able to articulate precisely your ideal vision for your life. It sounds like a simple question that should have a simple answer, but many of us fail to put the question into words, and it’s impossible to get a satisfactory answer to a question we never ask.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this dilemma in light of my own faith journey, the dire state of the world, and the challenges we face as a congregation. I often feel overwhelmed by all the struggles and problems, but I continue to find hope in statements such as this one in John 1:16: “From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.”
We can’t control much of what happens around us or even to us. We can only shape and mold what happens within us, with God’s help. This is a humbling thought and one we should reflect on long and hard at the beginning of a new year. No matter what external challenge we face, we will only be successful in meeting it according to the strength and quality of our internal resources.
I want to invite you into a three-Sunday process in which we explore together HOW GOD GUIDES US in our spiritual becoming.
According to the gospel, the person we all long to be in our heart of hearts is a person conformed to the image and likeness of Jesus Christ. Sadly, most people don’t even realize that this is their deepest longing. They completely miss it, and some even “gain the whole world but lose their own souls,” as the scripture warns.
Although none of us ever achieve our full potential in Christ, we can realize more of it than we can imagine if we will simply give ourselves to the process with more discipline and commitment. In this way of thinking, the dreams and visions God has for you are infinitely higher and greater than any you have for yourself.
I’m talking about finding the life God blesses. This life isn’t something we can plan out or create ourselves — no matter how smart we are or how hard we work at it. Instead, this joyful, peaceful, love-filled, victorious life comes to us, “From his fullness” as “grace upon grace.”
I look forward to worshiping with you this Sunday as we receive more of this best of all gifts!
With eager anticipation,