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September Is the New January (?)

September 7, 2016

What does September mean to you? Is it a restart – back to school, or regular church activities starting up again? Or is it your holiday month, when prices have dropped back to low-peak levels? Or is it maybe a month of stock-taking?

In many ways, September is a kind of second January, and it’s not a bad idea to have a look at how we’re doing, as churches and individuals. Are we growing in faith, or stagnating? Are we more or less determined to see God’s kingdom come in our midst? Are we more or less open to the Spirit of God operating in our midst? Are we more or less enthusiastic about the Gospel?

The biggest danger for any Christian (or any church) is to think we have arrived, that we are done, that there’s nothing left for God to do in our life and ministry. And I’m sure you see how silly that sounds when put in writing… but still so many of us live as if that was the case.

I’ve recently been challenged about the level of my faith, and have realised that there is still a lot of work to be done. My faith may be strong in many ways, but there are still weak spots, and there are areas where I definitely need to grow. So my prayer now is, Lord increase my faith!

In a modern worship song we sing “Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders”; in an old hymn we sing “I surrender all.” In both cases we’re expressing full commitment to Jesus as our Lord and Master. It doesn’t mean “I will go to church on Sunday”; it means “I will follow Jesus wherever he calls me and whatever it means.” If it means giving away more money than I’m comfortable with, I will obey. If it means talking to strangers (or friends!) about Jesus’ death on the cross, then so be it. If it means exercising faith in new ways, I will just have to let the Holy Spirit teach and guide me.

If this sounds scary, you’re right: handing over control to somebody else is always scary, even if that somebody else is God Almighty. But that is what it means to follow Jesus. We need to keep growing in our faith, expecting God to do great things in us and through us – he is after all able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or even imagine!

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From → Christianity, Faith, Jesus

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