As we begin 2012, the Rock Pastors invite you to evaluate your life. Look back over the past year, examine your current state, and ponder the future. It’s time for a strategic plan!
The Past – Pastor Ricky Page
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6
The weaker we are, the more opportunities God has to be strong and show off!
The Lord acknowledges your commitment to our church body, your service to our community, and your pursuit of Him and His will…but you’re not done yet! God is still working out things in you, and He wants you to receive encouragement today.
So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12: 7b-10
The weaker we are, the more opportunities God has to be strong and show off! Pastor Ricky’s son, Elijah (a fifth grader), boldly shared some of the struggles and hardships he endured in different areas of his life in the last year. This courageous and bold eleven-year-old encouraged the church to persevere through our struggles. Everyone has them, and everyone needs help and community to carry on.
Think over your 2011 and the difficulties and frustrations it brought for you. How was God faithful to you through those hard times? What is he working out in you? What are you becoming?
The Present – Pastor Tommy Moseley
Why do you attend church? Is it because the Bible tells you to go? Is it because someone drags you along? Is it to meet people? On some level, you must want to experience God and have your life be transformed by Him. God’s Word, living and active, can do just that.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24
No matter your current state, Jesus has a profound message for you today. If you want to experience transformation, it’s time to follow Him whole-heartedly. Jesus hated empty religious practices; He wanted people’s hearts. Still today, He wants us to seek Him and to stop seeking selfish ambition, seeing things only with our limited human perspective. But our sin often gets in the way, just as Paul reminds us in Romans 7:21-23, I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.
We get stuck in patterns that are difficult to break even if we desire to break them. Evaluate your life as it is. What needs to stay and what needs to go? Are you really following Jesus with your heart, your mind, your words, your actions? What does it mean to “take up your cross and follow [Jesus]” this year?
The Future – Pastor George Clerie
How you can write a better story for your life in 2012?
Paul writes in 2 Corinthians3:2b-3, Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.
Paul uses this metaphor to illustrate something remarkable about our lives: everyone’s life is a story that sends a message to the world. Your story is being written right now. You are an epistle!
Everyone understands the message your life is communicating. As your live your story and allocate your resources of time and money, you are telling those around you: this is what I believe and this is what is important to me.
Your story should be meaningful.
When you become a Christian, Jesus becomes the main author of your story. He starts to write something extraordinary and invites you to co-author with Him. Your life story should be something extraordinary, grand, and adventurous.
God is inviting you to write a better story.
We watched a video testimony of a man named Richard who, through a promiscuous lifestyle and a brush with a potential life-altering condition, realized God was calling him to write a better story with his life. Richard was infused with passion for missions and giving his life to the gospel. He realized that life is not about enjoyment, comfort, and indulgences. It’s about Jesus! Now Richard is using his life to share the gospel with those who have never heard it before. That’s something worth living for!
Is God whispering that to you that it’s time to make a change? As you begin your 2012, what kind of story are you writing? Is this the one you want to write? Is this the story Jesus wants to write? Let’s all get on the same page with God!