The various topics we have looked at in 2010 were not just a random selection – God has led us through some significant scriptures and specific themes which became His particular word to us at various seasons in the life of our church.
Here is a quick sum-up of 2010:
Principles to build a Decade on
A big part of our journey of maturing in God is establishing and refining a set of principles to live by. Your principles – your ‘non-negotiables’ – determine so much of how you will live your life.
Pr 11:4 A thick bankroll is no help when life falls apart, but a principled life can stand up to the worst. (The Message)
However strong we think we’ve built our lives, there will be times when we need God on our side. We need more than our own limited strength and capabilities. Our inner lives need to be strengthened with enduring, Godly principles.
- Fixed disciplines
- Laws of life
Principles have predictable outcomes – you can prophecy your future by the principles you live by.
In many self-help books certain themes crop up again and again, because there are certain ‘laws of life’ that are universal. Anyone can tap into them. Of all people, we, as believers, should be living by Godly principles.
Some of the principles we looked at included: Principles for your family, finances, friends, marriage and fitness.
Elephants and Community
Elephants live in herds which operate a lot like human families. They build lifelong friendships – communities.
Ultimately, church is not about events or programs. A church needs to be a community of believers who open up their lives to each other.
We need to progress from just being a crowd that gathers together on Sundays to becoming an integrated community of believers. This means taking our involvement in church ‘beyond Sundays’ and learning to ‘do life together’. One of the best ways to get to know people is to belong to a Lifegroup.
A stationary train can be held in place by a small block of wood, but at top speed, hardly anything in its path can stop it.
It is particularly important to have momentum in your spiritual life. We can easily run out of steam, especially spiritually, and lapse into ‘maintenance mode’ – marking time, but not really moving forward. Little frustrations can turn into long-term blockages, and we can get caught up in small-mindedness, focussing on minor problems. It’s possible to stay stuck in a rut with no growth or progress in your walk with God for some time – even years!
But when your life has momentum, you can break through obstacles and keep surging forward, no matter what comes your way.
Momentum is something sought after in business, sport and politics.
Job 17:9 Principled people hold tight, keep a firm grip on life, sure that their clean, pure hands will get stronger and stronger! (The Message)
Are you just living in ‘maintenance mode, or are you in forward motion?
This was a letter written by Jesus’ brother – a pastor in the early church.
The book of James speaks to us of being authentic. People need to see what it really means to be a true Christian.
James reminds us of the need for spiritual maturity. There comes a time in our lives when we need to ‘put away childish things’ and allow God to develop us.
Jas 1:22 Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
We need to work on closing the gap between what we know and what we actually do, particularly in the basics like reading the Bible and our prayer lives, and being fully involved in church gatherings.
One in a Billion
This reminded us to look beyond ourselves and have a heart for those who haven’t found God or aren’t at church yet. Our mission field is the people we meet in the course of our daily lives.
The way you start the year off will largely determine how the rest of the year unfolds. We need to be ‘positioned, prepared and principled’ to make the most of the coming year. Now is a great time to review, refine and realign.