Happy New Year to our Zion family!
As we pray and trust that the Christmas and New Year holidays have brought joy and celebration to you and yours, we want spiritually prepare ourselves for what the Lord in His providence will bring us in the new year. Let us prayerfully commit ourselves to living only for the glory of God this year!
Saturated In God’s Word For the Year Ahead
A lot of people will make resolutions this year – lose weight, drop a bad habit, improve yourself, etc. But the best thing you could do is draw deeply from God’s Word! With over a dozen different reading plans, there is something here for everyone! What are you going to let hold you back from diving in to more of God’s holy power in your life through His Word & Spirit?!
Continue reading “Reading Plans 2022” at Ligonier→
Following Jesus: What’s Wrong and Right About Imitating Christ
[Scripture] calls us not simply to imitate Christ but to live out our union with him. But before [Paul] speaks an imperative, he announces the indicative of the gospel: Christ’s saving work has accomplished far more than we imagined. The Spirit’s work of uniting us to Christ makes us not mere imitators but living members of his body. We are incorporated-baptized-into Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.
Jesus said the same thing in John 15. His disciples are not only forgiven; joined to him as the life-giving Vine they become living branches, bearing fruit that will remain. We have no life in ourselves, he tells them. There are no resources for following Jesus, imitating him, becoming his disciple. We are dead branches, cut off, without hope in this world. Only then does Jesus issue his imperatives to love and serve each other as he has loved and served us.
There is a world of difference between having a role model whose example we fall short of ever reproducing and having yourself “killed” and re-created as branches of the Tree of Life. Doing what Jesus did is different from bearing the fruit of Christ’s righteous life. In fact, the most important things that Jesus did cannot be duplicated. Because he fulfilled the law in our place, bore our curse, and was raised in glory to take his throne at the Father’s right hand, we can have a relationship with him-and with the Father-that is far more intimate than the relationship of a devotee to a guru, a student to a teacher, or a follower to a master.
Continue reading “Following Jesus” at Monergism→
New Year’s Eve Prayer
Prayers for the New Year in 2022
Earlier, we encouraged you to re-devote yourself to Scripture for 2022. But are you praying for what is to come? Let other Christians model prayer for you, as it evokes your own prayers in your spirit to the Lord. Read on for prayers from the Puritans, the Reformed, and Billy Graham.
Continue reading “New Year Prayers” at Pastor Brian’s website→
New Year’s Resolutions as An Expectation of Faith
Everything comes around just as it has before [on New Years]… I’ll be honest, I get the same feeling whenever I reflect on New Year’s resolutions. People concoct them every year but it seems that “there is no remembrance of former things.” We fail to recall last year’s resolutions, largely the same ones, that have been left by the wayside, usually long before the red shadow of Valentine’s Day ever hits. Ironically enough, even pessimism about New Year’s resolutions is not new.
Yes, the past happened. Its failures are real. Your failures are real. But so is the reality of a God Who reigns over history and Who gives us hope and anticipation for the future.
Continue reading “New Year’s Resolutions…” at Christ and Pop Culture→
“Resolved, to do whatsoever I can think to do to God’s glory alone…” So begins the personal statements of resolve by one of America’s most brilliant minds, and highest pastors, Jonathan Edwards (1703 – 1758). Begun when he was just a teenager, these statements show a life determined not to settle, not to compromise, and not to give in. What resulted was one of the brightest lights that shone for God’s glory in our nation!
Read and digest these simple statements of faith, truth, and courage, and may they inspire you not to make your own resolutions, but to live life resolved. Resolved to follow Christ. Resolved to walk by faith. And resolved to live for His glory, even when no one else will!
Continue reading “Edwards’ Resolutions” at Pastor Brian’s website→