…from Pastor Jonathan

So…how’s it going?

We are three weeks into the new year and this is usually the point where resolutions and new habits get hard. So, if that’s where you are I want to share with you a verse that has become an anchor point for me in my life and in my faith.

Now, before I tell you the verse, I want you to know that God cares very much about how you and I live our lives. That’s why we held our Wesley Covenant Service to start the year. That’s why you’ve been hearing about being an All-together Christian instead of an Almost Christian. That’s why we’ve talked about the meaning and nature of the Catholic Spirit. Because your conduct counts. How you live your life matters.

And, every now and again, when we are seeking to live into the abundant life that God has for us, or just a healthier way of being, we need to do a course correction. We need to get back on track. We need an opportunity to recommit our ways to Jesus and to walking in his footsteps.

With that thought in mind, I share with you Hebrews 12:11: “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” I want righteousness and peace in my life, but in order for me to take hold of them, I have to endure discipline. Sometimes that discipline is simply getting up and reading my Bible and my devotion, even when it’s easier to sleep a little longer. Sometimes, that discipline is conviction in my soul from God about how and what I’ve been doing. Sometimes, that discipline is enduring the consequences of my sinfulness, so that I can begin to walk in the ways of Jesus once more. Faith isn’t easy and neither is change.

So, if you’re struggling with the new resolution, the new habit, the new pattern you’ve chosen to live in, remember that no one enjoys discipline, but that discipline is the planting of seeds in the soil of our lives in this season that a will result in a harvest in the next. You do the work now so that you might enjoy the fruits of the work later.

May you, beloved of God, continue in the disciplines you have established for yourself, that your harvest of righteousness and peace might be abundant.

God bless,

Jonathan Smith

For Jesus. For People. For Community.