My Dear Friends,
A Very Happy New Year to you!
The beginning of a New Year is the time when most of us start working a plan to live better and healthier lives. I started 2016 off by going to the Epistle of James and staying there awhile. James is perfect to revisit at the start of the year because this little letter encourages us to do something with our faith and the freedoms we have in Christ Jesus. These very quotable verses of wisdom never get old to me. They are challenging and a great reminder of the life I want to live for Jesus.
The words of James could not be more appropriate with the challenges of our missionary funding efforts, language school, and the mission field itself all sitting set before us this year. James reminds us that despite the challenges that come and the trials that beset us, we need to be consistent in the way we live our lives, making sure that our words and our actions are worthy of the sacrifice Jesus made for us. We must not waver in our love for others because He did not waver in loving us.
James shows us that words are not enough when it comes to our faith in Jesus Christ. We should say “Yes!” to God both by our words and by our actions. Christians must love God and others with sincerity of heart and gentleness of spirit. Our actions should always demonstrate the heart of God. Our words as well. This is always a challenge for me. Too often I find myself reacting to people and situations rather than responding with grace and love. Perhaps you can relate. This year I want to be a more consistent light in dark places. Our Fletcher Steps in 2016 are all about saying, “Yes!” to God one day at a time, in small as well as larger ways. We are learning to be more dependent upon Him and more sensitive to His Word and His Spirit.
We pray that this year is the same for you. We pray that you will be a light in dark places. that you will say, “Yes!” to Jesus this year as He leads you, and that you will respond to life’s challenges with the wisdom and grace of God. may many people see Jesus this year when we do!