Lucy and I gave each other new cell phones for Christmas. Actually we gave them to each other before Thanksgiving. Yet, I’m still, one month later, like a kid again playing with it and learning about the things it is capable of. I can check sports scores, e-mail a prayer request to our church family, pull up an aerial picture of our church, check the weather in Delaware [it’s 30° right now], take videos [grandchildren love this], and plenty more…Can you sense that I love my new phone?
Ah, but it hasn’t taken me long to realize that it takes a lot more to keep my phone up than with my last one. The monthly fee has gone up and I’m finding that to do all these extra things the phone requires daily recharging instead of doing so every 3 days. And being a “smart phone” with a touch screen my oily fingerprints have to be removed from the screen consistently. So I’ve bought a plastic cover for it to enhance its longevity. And there are thousands of applications I can download for the phone, but most come with a nominal fee. And nominal fees can mount up pretty fast because I just discovered 2 more Apps that I just had to have.
There is another thing I’ve discovered. Though my phone is capable of so much it only does what I direct it to do. It takes concentrated and planned effort on my part to use it wisely. For instance, for 30+ years I have visited in the hospital or in a home, found out important prayer request information and waited until I got back to the office before disseminating that to those who will pray. Now I can send a prayer request from my phone while I’m in the hospital or as soon as I get to the car. The question is will I train myself to do that until it becomes my habit instead of waiting until I get back to my computer? I have the means to stay connected with you, my church family, in ways I didn’t have before but will I take advantage of the opportunity?
Now I haven’t written this to talk about me or my phone. Yet it is a way to begin talking about you and the new year God is blessing you with. Entering 2011 is exciting. It means God is not holding you back, like in grade school, because you didn’t pass His 2010 exam. [Wow, did I fail miserably!] In His grace He is letting each of us pass on to the new year. It’s a new beginning, a new chapter, and a new start. Like with fresh fallen snow we get to step out and make our footprints in this fresh new year. Can you even begin to think of all that this new phone, I mean new year, is capable of being for you and where it will take you? The possibilities are HUGE!
Yet in order for 2011 to be a HUGE year for you a costly price must be paid. Thank the Lord I never was close to being held back in school, but it came with hard work. My semi-good grades in school came with diligent effort. And it will be the same with each of us as we seek to succeed in 2011. I want to please my Lord more this year than I did last year – well then what will that mean? It will mean that I will have to stop doing some things, do other things better, and begin to do some new things I’ve never done before. It will mean spending more time with the Lord each day, praying and reading His 2011 Guide Book [Bible], in order to know how I can please Him more than I’ve done before. It might mean addressing a relationship with another person in order for my relationship with Jesus to grow. It might mean stepping out of my comfort zone to step into a ministry God is calling me to. It might mean one of a thousand things and will I be willing to pay the cost?
Your new year is capable of so much but it will only be what you direct it to be. It will take concentrated and planned effort to use it wisely. For instance, there is no telling what God will be able to do with our church as we begin having 2 morning worship services this month. The possibilities are HUGE! Yet it will all flop without the concentrated effort of each of us – praying, promoting both services, inviting others, participating, stepping up to help and praying some more. And it will take your best effort in partnership with the Lord to make anything eternal out of 2011. I’ve dedicated my phone to the Lord for His use. I want Him to use it in my life for His glory and for the good of others. At the end of my life that is all that is going to matter anyway isn’t it – what has been done for God’s glory and the good of others? So shouldn’t I do the same with my new year – dedicate it to God for His honor and for the eternal betterment of others? Hey, would you join me in this adventure by dedicating your 2011 to God for His pleasure and for drawing others closer to Him? And God in you is capable of far more than the best cell phone on the market. In fact, can’t you hear Him on the other line calling you right now to stop and spend time with Him planning together how 2011 can be HOLY?
Can you tell I’m excited about my new gift – 2011? Pastor Steve