Well another year has passed and we are now in 2016! A brand new year in a world that is rapidly changing! For many, the year looks bleak and full of darkness. They are starting off the year not sure of what will happen in the world in the coming months. I want to encourage you this morning to stay focused on Jesus and on the Word of God!
I know for myself, I do not see trouble in 2016, I see a chance to excel! God’s Word has not changed and the plan for His people is still going forward! Remember, God has a plan for you and your life!
Jeremiah 29:11: (ESV) For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
You know, living on an atoll in the middle of the pacific gives me a unique perspective! I see so many things changing within the church. I see wonderful changes that are being made to reach people for Jesus! Churches are adapting and using new ways to reach others while staying true to the Gospel message! Yet, there are many who are mixing new age practices, aligning with cults and false religions in the name of unity.
With the increase of online media and online churches it is easy for the average person to be influenced by many different teachers! Believe or not it is not a good thing to listen to so many that tickle your ears! Not everything on the internet is of God! Basically we are bombarded with so many things that the average believer does not know what they believe.
In December for me the word, “reset”, came up in my spirit during prayer. I looked up the word to see it’s meaning. Basically, it means to return something to its original state! I begin to think about my computer and tablet and how sometimes they get overloaded. We load up apps and software that are supposed to make our lives easier but in reality they end up slowing down our devices!
So what do we do? The first thing I do is start deleting apps and software I do not use. However, that does not always work. There are times when I have to reset the device back to its original state! As soon as I do, I am back in business! I have learned now to be very selective as to what I add to my systems!
Then I began to look at this from a spiritual standpoint. For me I asked myself the question, do I need a reset? I began to think about the focus of the church not only here in the Marshalls but around the world. As I looked around and listened I saw teaching on prosperity, blessing, personal relationships, marriage and so many good things!
It is our focus to teach people how to think right, live right and live by faith! That is all really good stuff but something was missing. Then it hit me! There is very little teaching on evangelism and disciple making. There is plenty of encouragement for us to invite people to church, but few who encourage winning the lost and making disciples in our daily lives!
I believe in 2016 that God is going to do a new thing within the church!
Isaiah 43:19:(ESV) Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.
The scripture above come to mind. The Lord is saying I am doing a new thing, do you not perceive? In other words do you not see it. I believe to see the new thing God is going to do in 2016 we must do a reset! We must get back to the main mission of Jesus and the church! We are called to make disciples of all nations. Our mission is not only to receive but to freely give our lives in the building of the Kingdom of God!
Matthew 28:19:(ESV) Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Matthew 28:20: teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
In the coming year as we return to the original mission set before us I believe we will see the way, where there is no way, and provision, rivers, in the desert. For those who embrace the call of the Kingdom, God will show himself powerful! Do you need a reset? Are you ready to reset? If you are, ask God to show you what you need to dump to get back on track!
2016 is the year to get back to the true mission of the church, making disciples and building the Kingdom! Are you with me?