01 January 2013

Looking to 2013

by Dan Phillips

Happy new year, Pyro readers.

Thanks both to regular and new readers; thanks especially to those who take the words we offer and spread them, through mentions and links and local church ministry.


Last Sunday at CBC I preached a New Year-targeted sermon titled Where to Look in 2013. Though of course it was addressed to our local congregation, the truths are transferable. (Here is the outline.)  I hope it's helpful and useful to you and yours.

We look out on a challenging vista. American government and the public face of "evangelicalism" seem to be treading paths that are balefully similar in more ways than we'd wish. At a time when those who know their God should be doing great exploits, the urge to fit in and be well-liked by those who hate God generally, and despise many aspects of His word specifically, continues to fester and spread.

What to say of the "evangelical" church scene in 2012? Briefly: So many opportunities, so many wiffs. The twin imperatives for leaders sounded forth in Titus 1:9 loom forth as crucial and relevant as ever, yet in some ways the actual pursuit of specific faithfulness seems less popular and than in long memory. "Evangelicals" seek to be soothed, not stirred.

God grant a change of course in 2013. The stakes are high, and the environment target-rich.

If you have resolutions or plans for greater knowledge or service of God in 2013, please share.

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9 comments:

DJP said...

Nothing new from one-star hater.

nbprov32 said...

In the Word, not of the world.

Solameanie said...

Merely to become a better student of God's Word, a better, more careful, accurate teacher of Scripture, and a closer walk with Him. Learning how to live out love in a biblical way.

Dave Miller said...

I am praying for God to help me to grow as a Christian and continue to learn more and more about Him. I'm praying also for the wisdom and the guts to do something new. Something outside my comfort zone. I love my comfortable Christian surroundings but fear I may be becoming complacent.

Kerry James Allen said...

Didn't want to be the first to go forward at the invitation, but probably needed to. Was mining Spurgeon quotes today and came across one that dovetails an issue (nice word for sin) I am working harder on this year:

"If we said half as much, we might only sin half as much."

I'm working on saying less, and less sarcastically, and praying that the "gracious words" that came out of His mouth (Luke 4:22) would come out of mine.

Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Psalm 141:3

Paul Reed said...

"the urge to fit in and be well-liked by those who hate God generally, and despise many aspects of His word specifically, continues to fester and spread."

That about said it for me. To stop worrying about what other people will think, and to understand that if you're going to stand for Biblical Truth, you can expect to be hated. That there isn't a "third way".

Mary Elizabeth Tyler said...

My resolution would be to know Him better, reflect Him more, oppose Him less, share Him with others, and learn to do it day in and day out for His glory alone.

Jules said...

" At a time when those who know their God should be doing great exploits, the urge to fit in and be well-liked by those who hate God generally, and despise many aspects of His word specifically, continues to fester and spread."

Terrifying.

Jim Pemberton said...

My ministry goal is to lead our team in Venezuela this summer, be open to a small church near my home that occasionally needs help, and be available for the opportunities that God has for me this year. Also, I plan to help a new addition to our church staff in his duties to proactively disciple people in their marriages.

My study goal is to learn Greek better and develop a marriage study identifying general objectives people should have in their marriages and how that should affect the formation of specific objective for their individual situations.

My marital goal is to continue weekly lunch dates with my wife, pursue her best interests at every turn and help her apply her gifts to her ministry goals.

My parental goal is to guide my oldest son in his educational planning, and counsel him in his continuing interest in a young woman in our church. For my daughter, be as good a man as I would hope for her to find interest in and help her keep her mind on her studies when the time comes that she might be distracted by such things. For my youngest son, continue to read the Bible with him until he's able to "self-feed". For all, to pray for them, instruct them in the ways of God, and teach them how to administer their gifts in ministry.