Happy New Year from Zion!

happy-new-yearHappy New Year! We are praying that this year brings you closer to the Lord Almighty, that we would glorify Him and enjoy Him forever as He works the truth of the Gospel deeper into our hearts, to transform us to live for Him!

The offices are closed today, Monday January 2, but will resume normal hours on Tuesday from 8:30 to 11:30 the rest of the week.

Here’s a prayer for you in the New Year:

   But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our SaviorTit. 3:4-6 (ESV)

   Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? Rom. 2:4 (NASB)

   Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Col. 3:12 (NIV)

Heavenly Father, these Scriptures compel me to thank you for being so kind, gentle, and patient with me. And they also compel me to praise you for the gospel. I’m grateful you don’t love us to the degree we love others, but to the degree you’ve made Jesus’ righteousness ours—which is 100%. This good news is my peace, joy, and hope.

This Good News is also rocket fuel for change.

Father, your kindness leads me to repent of the ways I love poorly—in thought, word, and deed. As this New Year begins, I repent of “irritable spirit syndrome,” nourishing disappointments, and holding onto old hurts. I repent of not being as quick to forgive, heal, and move on as you intend.

I repent of over-believing people’s inconsistencies and under-believing the gospel. I repent of letting myself get more irritated and “bugged” by certain personality types than staying in awe of your mercy and grace for me. Though our culture is getting more cynical and critical, that’s not who I want to be. As far as my contribution goes to 2017, I want to major in kindheartedness and healing words.

So, Father, as I reach for the garments of grace in the closet of the gospel—“compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience,” I trust you for power to love others as Jesus loves us. Bring glory to yourself this year, as I bring my convicted and grateful heart to you.

Help me live each day this year confident of your great love, resting in your sovereignty, and filled to overflowing with hope of the gospel. In Jesus’ merciful and mighty name we pray, Amen!

About blund

Brian J. Lund is minister of Word & Sacrament at Zion Evangelical & Reformed Church. You can follow him at his website or @BrianJLund.
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