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We will reach out and become the vital support community of Southeast Vancouver by expressing God's love.

What Does It Mean to Be the Church

Words of Encouragement

Happy New Year!

When many people face a new year, they may often be discouraged because time passes and it appears that nothing has improved and we are still facing the same problems and difficulties. When that is compounded with the feeling of aloneness, which can be devastating at Christmas, it makes for a rocky end-of-year and beginning-of-year.

The clock, the day and night, the calendar, the four seasons are instituted in order to help us understand the passage of time and to help us make better use of our limited resources and time. At regular intervals, we evaluate our lives to make sure that we are going according to our intended plan.

The average person will also know to make “new year resolutions” but the resolutions and plans are limited to a personal level. At this level, the plans and resolutions may be counterproductive from one year to the next and are subject to mistakes and misperceptions. For example, wealth may be a priority until we understand a better set of values such as health. Nevertheless, it is a worthwhile exercise to be intentional about the direction of our lives.

As Christians, evaluation involves more than just to re-direct our lives: we use a set of God-given values as standards to judge our direction and performance. For example, we use the image of Jesus as the ultimate direction for life. As a people redeemed by God and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we exercise our God-given intellect in directing our lives to follow Jesus. For myself, this coming year, I intend to practice Chinese calligraphy by copying Bible verses. This exercise will allow me to practice self-discipline both in the control of writing as well as the daily and weekly commitment in time toward this practice. After all, self-control is one of the fruits of the Spirit, which brings a whole host of other blessings.

Psalm 90:12, “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Until we are able to comprehend the limited time of our life on earth, we would not be able to do what is most important in life. And not doing what is most important would be unwise.

Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, by your love expressed through your Son, help me to count my days on earth, so that I may live with meaning and joy. In the name of your Son Jesus, Amen.

Written by Pastor Mark Chiang