From now on I will tell you of new things, of hidden things unknown to you.  They are created now, and not long ago; you have not heard of them before today.  So you cannot say, “Yes, I knew of them.”  

Isaiah 48:6b-7

God is speaking to Israel about their stubbornness and lack of listening in the past.  But then he quickly brings them up to the present and the future. The Lord is more concerned about their present state than anything else.  He wants their relationship to him to be new.  This is God’s character – to have a relationship with his people that is always new and fresh.

After 2 years of pandemic pandemonium, COVID is getting old. We are certainly ready for something new! But my focus is different. Who knows when it will end and what it will look like. My challenge is something new for YOU in 2022. I am challenging you to pray a simple prayer and to ask God in what ways he wants to show you something new in your relationship with him.  I’ll give a couple of examples:

Jesus, in what new ways do you want me to trust you? Think about the person who is least likely to come to Jesus to be saved.  Maybe your challenge is to pray with renewed fervor and to trust God to do what seems impossible. Or maybe it is a relationship that needs to be restored – one that is impossible apart from the grace of God. It could be something more internal like trusting Jesus to live through you and to take away fear or to bring peace and joy into your heart. In what ways does God want to stretch your faith?

Jesus, what new commitments do you want me to make? Maybe you realize that you have been missing out and that it is time to make some spiritual commitments such as attending church every week or daily prayer and Bible reading. It could be making a new commitment to show God’s grace to your spouse or to your children – to truly show the kindness and grace of Jesus to them and to refuse to complain and argue or attack. Maybe it is as simply as choosing not to yell at anyone at all this year no matter what! Maybe it is as simple as cleaning up after yourself or caring for a responsibility that you have neglected and procrastinated. Ask God and trust him! Our true Christian faith should shine through in these things! God’s grace is certainly available for daily living!

Jesus, in what new ways do you want me to participate in your ministry? God has a place for every Christian to be involved in the building of his kingdom and the revealing of his glory. Sometimes he calls us to do the most humbling and simple task – and then he makes it life-changing.  Other times he calls us to do things that are beyond our capacity – things that will stretch our faith and teach us new skills and new ways to trust in Christ! Sometimes along with this, he calls us to equip others and to delegate and to step back and to trust him. It could be that God is calling you to exercise a particular spiritual gift – maybe he is urging you to be an encourager in every context or to show hospitality or to comfort others – to always be that voice of hope and grace in a negative world. It is such a beautiful thing to see the Church truly be the Church as we each allow the Spirit to work through us. So I challenge you to ask yourself the question and even more to ask God the question of What is new in ’22 for you? I am excited to see it!

In Jesus, Pastor Ed