With the start of any new year many of us stop and take the time to assess where we are at and plan what changes we need to make. This is common as a new year potentially means a fresh start which you may know by the name “New Year Resolution”. Whether we do this at the beginning of the year or anytime through the year, doesn’t really matter. What matters is the importance of making assessments of where we are at and committing to make a change.
For our church this year we are saying to God that we will aim to be all He has created us to be. God has created us to be something special and we are reminded of this in Psalms 139:14 “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvellous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.” This year you will be encouraged to make a commitment to God to “Activate” the calling on your life with the gifts given to you through the Holy Spirit and obedience as a faithful follower of Jesus Christ.
God has given us these gifts not to store away, but to use for His purposes to see the Kingdom of Heaven established further. There aren’t many verses that use the specific word Activate in the Bible. But it is very clear in the Bible that we must be faithful stewards of the things God has given to each of us: When it comes to the calling on our life the Bible says it should be fufilled. “…God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power” 2 Thessalonians 1:11 We are given gifts to be used for God’s purposes “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them…” Romans 12:6 Our commitment to follow Jesus requires total obedience as Paul encourages us by saying “…we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 Activate simply means to make something active or operative. Maybe a better way of putting it is to “start it off”, “trigger it”, or “set it in motion”.
If you haven’t taken the steps of obedience to activate your calling and gifts, we want to help you.
Our second church purpose or, as I like to see it, the second part of our God-given assignment, is to “Grow people to be like Jesus”. The only way to “start it off”, “trigger it” or “set it in motion” is to create intentional pathways of growth in living our life in Christ. Having the focus of activating growth in our life will set us up to be able to fulfil the other two parts of the assignment God has given to us: “Connecting people to Jesus” only happens when we are obedient in following Christ.
Why would we want to introduce anyone to Jesus if we are not convinced ourselves to be following Jesus completely? Without obedience we can never please God. It creates a division between what we want to do and what God wants us to do. Activating total obedience grows God’s kingdom and changes our lives. “Serving people with grace through Jesus” starts when we discover the gifts God has given to us and we are prepared to use them. Without our gifts and the knowledge of our calling, our serving is absent of grace and becomes self-gratifying.
Our serving should be through humility for the glorification of God. When we activate our gifts and calling we want to use them for God’s purposes and this also grows God’s kingdom and changes our lives. God is not partial to anyone, He loves everyone and has created us for marvellous works that promote Him and His kingdom. The assignment we have of connecting, growing and serving is not for a selected few, but for everyone who says they are a committed, faithful follower of Jesus.
“For [if we are] in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but only faith activated and expressed and working through love.” Galatians 5:6 Amplified Version Be encouraged that God has included you in doing great things for His Kingdom. Your background, where you came from or even what you did no longer mean anything compared to the faith you have which is activated and expressed through love for God and everyone He has created. This year find a way to get youself started living your life in Christ through connecting, growing and serving. This is the way we glorify God and show how important His Kingdom is to us.
In Christ alone,