This week, Pastor John hands over the TAGD keyboard to Marti Wiegman, Northpoint’s Director of Women’s Ministries.
Good News for the New Year
Hello Church Family,
What is on your heart as you begin the new year: “I’m going to really, really try to be a better________________” or “Thank God for His great love for me”?
As I write this message, on the coffee table are a pile of Christmas cards and letters. The number seems fewer each year as more and more send their greetings and “year in review” by social media. It’s great to catch up with friends and loved ones; but in some ways it can be a terrible burden, drawing us to pride or despair. People tend to post all the wonderful things they are doing; punctuated by smiling photos designed to document their perfect lives. Sometimes we read these and think, That’s really great. Other times, if we are honest, we catch ourselves thinking, I’m not worth anything until I have a life that looks like theirs on Pinterest.
Then New Year’s hits and we are drawn to be even more introspective—looking back, perhaps with regret at what we haven’t accomplished, and looking forward to what we want to be and to do in the year ahead. We start writing lists, making promises, devising plans, all the while feeling inside that we just aren’t making the grade. Deep down we are driven by a crushing sense that we can never try hard enough to be good enough.
The year has barely begun and we already feel exhausted and defeated!
If you are a believer, there is Good News! You are already loved, you are already accepted, you are already enough, because of what Christ has already done for you. There is nothing we need to do to somehow earn God’s smile upon us; our faith in Christ and His righteousness alone is eternally sufficient. In Christ our lives become a celebration of who we are in Him, not a failed string of endless efforts to make ourselves of value on our own. In Christ, our goals and aspirations focus on knowing, worshiping, and serving our great God, not living up to some standard of this world. As we take our eyes off ourselves and fix our eyes on Christ we hear His good word: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
I want to close with a word specifically for our ladies. This Good News of finding our fullness in Christ is so important, especially for those who are weary, wounded, or struggling. So many of us love the Lord yet can’t seem to find the joy, peace, or freedom we hear so much about. Elyse Fitzpatrick, a leading Christian author and speaker, has written a book about this vital issue entitled, Good News for Weary Women: Escaping the Bondage of To-Do Lists, Steps, and Bad Advice. She will be the speaker at our upcoming women’s conference, Saturday, March 7, from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. here at Northpoint. Watch for more information in the weeks ahead.
Serving Him together,