On the Plains of Moab Blog
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January 1, 2013, 8:56 AM

Until Christ Be Formed in You

First day of the year.  Hope it is a good one for you.  Hope that it will be one of great progress towards being the person that God intends you to be.  To that end, for both you and me, I will be organizing my preaching around the theme of becoming more Christ-like.

I share my "year verse" with you in the upcoming newsletter for January.  (I will give you a heads up by revealing it early here!)  From Galatians 4:19, the apostle Paul says, My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.... (KJV).  That verse just won't go away.  I can't get it out of my head!  Until Jesus is formed in you, I won't rest.  Unless you become the person that you are supposed to be, I will not have fulfilled my pastoral resposibility towards you.  Wow.  That is a high bar!  Killer!  But, that is what church life is to be about.

With that in mind, that is what my preaching must aim to do: push you and provoke you to move towards a more Christ-like, Christ-honoring life.  And mind you, I am aiming for this myself!  I need it, perhaps more than you do!

And so, I introduce to you the four primary sermon series that we will encounter in 2013.  Up first, beginning January 27th, seven sermons in Jonah.  Early spring, we will move back into the New Testament with 1 Corinthians.  (How could we not?!)  After that, it is back to the Old Testament for a ten sermon series in 1 & 2 Chronicles.  You may be wondering how in the world these sorely neglected OT books will fit into the theme -- but just you wait and see!  Finally, we will end the year with the Sermon on the Mount -- most likely ten sermons there.

However, before we begin the New Year in sermons, I must, on January 6th, preach a sermon that sets it all up.  We must deal with reality.  We must uncover some unpleasant truths about ourselves.  (See the picture below if you'd rather see it than read it!)

The truth is that we are not what we should be....yet.  The truth is, as individuals and as a church, we blow it all too often.  As the sermon title for this Sunday screams, we must respond with a hushed, "Amen."  "Dirty, Rotten Hypocrites."

Ouch!  But.  We must own it.  HOWEVER...We must also realize that we are not called to stay there.  Please hear that!  We are called to ever-so-slowly move towards the Savior.  Crawl, if you can't run, towards holiness.  But, it must be something that we want and desire to do.  God is not finished with us yet!

Oy vey!

2013.  May Christ be formed in us!

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