I absolutely love the start of a new year.
I’m an optimistic, hope-filled, good news person and as such the greeting in of a new year is a time when I look forward to all that lies ahead. A month into the year and already the singing of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ and the London fireworks on the telly are but a distant memory, but for me, the hope of a move of God in 2019 is as fresh as ever. Many a New Year’s resolution about weight loss, dry January, or superhuman fitness may have failed to become a reality, but my steadfast hope for what could happen this year remains strong.
What will be different about us in these times of confusion because we have Jesus?
In a time of political chaos, cultural upheaval, and economic uncertainty, we can continue to place our faith in an unwavering God. Times are very uncertain, and none of us are sure of the outcome, but we are certain of Who holds the future and the ultimate end of the story. This gives us Christians an incredible opportunity to show those around us what it’s like to face the same cultural challenges as they do, but to do so alongside the living God. What will be different about us in these times of confusion because we have Jesus? How much are we prepared to testify to the hope we have in Him regardless of how swiftly our cultural backdrop is changing? What an incredible opportunity to witness. What a chance to show a different way and for the church to be united in our mission as the nation seems increasingly divided.
It can be really hard to witness to, and stand out for, Jesus, but it’s a huge comfort to know that nothing shall ever rob us of His presence. The Gospel of Matthew begins with the assurance that we have recently celebrated at Christmas that this baby to be born would be called ‘Immanuel’ meaning God is with us (Matthew 1:23). That same Gospel closes with the assurance, within the Great Commission, that He is with them still, and will be until the end of time (Matthew 28:20). Whatever this year holds for us, we are not alone and can face it in the comfort and confidence of His unwavering presence.
So here in 2019, I dream of seeing the church reaching out to the UK like never before and beginning to fulfil the Great Commission in our day. This is always directed outwards, to the unreached. It is a call to a discipling, teaching evangelism. Through this, every single location is a sharing location. The cinema, the bank, the school playground, the football terrace, our workplaces, are all locations where we live Jesus, show Jesus, talk Jesus and help others to walk like Jesus.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this year we really went for it, and saw great change throughout the land for the gospel?
People keep talking to me about their big dreams for mission and evangelism in 2020. My only question is this: why wait until then? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this year we really went for it, and saw great change throughout the land for the gospel?
Let’s not limit what might be possible this year. I’m a keen runner and run often in Adidas running shoes. Their advertising slogan is ‘impossible is nothing.’ Every time I run in their shoes, I prove this to be false marketing, as much is impossible when it comes to me and running! However, with Jesus, truly nothing is impossible. Let’s allow this God to stretch our prophetic imaginations as to what might be possible, and really go for it. As Jesus says himself in Luke 18:27: ‘what is impossible with man is possible with God.’
Come on church, let’s reach the UK with the Gospel in 2019.
P.S. Let me take this chance to wish you, very belatedly, a Happy New Year!
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