“Radical obedience to Christ is not easy… It’s not comfort, not health, not wealth, and not prosperity in this world. Radical obedience to Christ risks losing all these things. But in the end, such risk finds its reward in Christ. And he is more than enough for us.” ― David Platt, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream
We believe that 2022 is going to be a year of impact for the Kingdom of God through Northstar Church. That’s our expectation and our hope. John 16:33 (TPT) says, “And everything I’ve taught you is so that and will give you great confidence as you rest in me. For in this unbelieving world you will experience trouble and sorrows, but you must be courageous, for I have conquered the world!”
The words “the peace which is in me will be in you” are as relevant as ever. Some of us have misplaced our hope. We’ve looked to things of this world. But the truth is, when we place our hope in God, we are strengthened and encouraged. “Some trust in chariots and some in horses,” the Psalmist declares, “but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” (Psalm 20:7 ESV). Our hope is in Jesus and our goal in 2022, as in every year, is to become more like Him.
As we see Him stretch out His hand in compassion to heal a leper, we see how we should be compassionate. When we see Jesus have mercy on the woman caught in adultery, we grow in mercy. As we marvel to read about Jesus kneeling before His disciples the night before He is to die and wash their feet, the Holy Spirit grows us in humility and servanthood. As we gaze on Jesus hanging on the cross, and not revile His enemies but say, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do,” we learn to trust our heavenly Father and forgive our enemies. And as we gaze upon Jesus enduring all things because of His love for us, we learn to endure the sins and failures of others out of love for them.
We see the glory of the Lord in all of Scripture. We see the glory of His holiness and righteousness. The glory of His steadfast love and faithfulness. We see him keep His promises to His people and be true to His word. The Bible is filled with the glory of the Lord, if we only open our eyes to see.
We want to naturally and routinely bless those who curse you as Paul did. Or overcoming impulsiveness and learning to be faithful to God, as Peter did. Setting aside anxiety and learning to join Mary and sit still at Jesus’ feet and listen. But where do you start? Try focusing on finding a better way one change at a time, even if the change takes time. Most of us fail in our efforts to find a better way because we try hard for a while and then give up. We don’t keep our focus long enough, and we don’t go deep enough; we don’t develop a plan for how we can work with God’s grace to change to become like Jesus on the inside in that one area.
Transformation to Christlikeness is a process. The learning and growth come from experimentation, failure, thanking God for His mercy, by following His way.
- Consider how Jesus lived. What stands out to you the most about His way of living?
- What better ways can we discover through the life of Jesus?