One of my favorite things about preaching is the start of a new sermon series. It’s always a joy to bring to our church a series from Scripture that I have been working on for a month or two. And with every series, my prayer is that we see the grace of Jesus and apply God’s Word directly to our lives so that we can live for Christ and bring all glory to him.

Our new series “New You Resolutions” begins Sunday, January 7th and I want to let you in on where we are going with this series. I’ll give a short summary of the focus and intention of each sermon and then I’ll let you know how I am (and how you can be) praying during this series.

Week One: A Gospel Resolve – 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 and 1 Corinthians 15:1-11

First and foremost, this is a series about Jesus, not you. New Year Resolutions are essentially an area of our life where we want to change. That change is often based on an inner desire to be perceived by our peers as someone who has it together. But what if our resolutions were not about us? What if the change we are seeking isn’t grounded in looking better, eating better, or making more money? What if our change is grounded in the Gospel?

We all want to change, but only the gospel changes us. Everything else disguises the deeper issue. If the gospel is the only thing that brings about true change to our view of satisfaction and desire, then our Resolution cannot be about us; they must be about Jesus. This series then, is not about how you can change you, but how the Gospel changes you.

Week Two: Money Matters – Luke 16:1-13

Money is often the focus when it comes to our comfort. We believe the lie that having more money allows us to have more things and therefore, we will have greater happiness. When we don’t have the money, we still have those wants and in order to get it in hopes it will bring us happiness, we go into debt. When we go into debt, we become anxious. And the slope keeps going down. A proper, biblical view of money and generosity must be considered when it comes to money matters. Though we will talk about generous giving for the advancement of the Gospel, we’ll mainly focus on being good stewards (a good manager) of the resources that God has given us.

Week Three: Sanctity of Human Life Sunday

We’ll step aside from our “New You Resolutions” series and discuss what the Bible says about the sanctity of human life. More on this and how you can be involved in a later post.

Week Four: Spiritual Health – Joshua 1:8

One of the most common NY Resolutions is a focus on physical health. In recent years, society has also included mental and spiritual health. With each of these comes specific disciplines. God has graciously given us incredible disciplines in the form of prayer, Scripture reading, and the local church. We’re taking the time on this Sunday to focus on the importance of Scripture in the life of a believer. As the Psalmist says, God’s Word is a “lamp to our feet and a light to our path” and if we are living in a dark, sinful world then God’s Word needs to be in front of us. If we resolve to be changed by the Gospel, then God’s Word is where we learn about who God is and his intended design for our lives. 

Week Five: Gospel-centered Work (Genesis 2:1-3,15; Ecclesiastes 2:17; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:23)

Our work take up a good portion of our daily life. This is why many people subsequently place their identity in their occupation, In fact, when you meet someone, usually the first question that is asked is, “What do you?” Because of this, we need to have a gospel-centered view of our work. If our work becomes our identity, then everything about us is based what we do instead of what Christ has done for us.

Prayer for this series

As I look forward to this series, here’s how I’m praying and how you can too.

1. I’m praying for us to see that by God’s grace and through faith in his power, we will resolve to glorify God in all things. (2 Thesselonians 1:11-12)

2. I’m praying for us to see that Gospel-centered change is not based on what we do, but solely in what Christ has done for us. (1 Corinthians 15:1-11)

3. I’m praying for us to see the need for Gospel-centered change in our own lives and in the life of our community.

Let’s start 2018 by starting with the Gospel. This is our foundation. I hope you are at each of these gatherings and if you miss, be sure to check out the podcast.