COMPositions 9


In Isaiah 43:19, God tells Israel that He is doing a new thing. In 2 Corinthians 5:17, the Apostle Paul reminds us that anyone who is in Christ is a new creation! As we anticipate a new year, let us ask the Lord to begin doing a new thing here at NorthPark that results in a host of new creations in the image of Jesus. Pray that we would pursue an intimate relationship with Jesus and a stronger desire to share the good news with those around us. Pray for those on whom the Holy Spirit is already working, that they would respond and surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

As we begin this new year together, I’ll be preaching 3 stand-alone sermons I hope will prepare and unite us as we move into the final months of transition:
•  This Sunday, January 3 I’ll be preaching from Joshua 3:1-5 as we set apart two teams to the work of moving us closer to the next Lead Pastor of NorthPark Church.
•  Sunday, January 10 I’ll be delivering an annual State of the Church address as we review the past 12 months and preview the coming year at NorthPark Church.
•. Sunday, January 17 I’ll be preaching on the sanctity of all human life based on Genesis 1:27 and John 3:16 and sharing the stage with Lee Watson, a Chaplain with Child Welfare Advocates.
•. On Sunday, January 24, I plan to begin an eight week series from the Apostle Paul’s first letter to Christians living in the city of Corinth where he addresses some of the struggles and challenges experienced in every church.

As I said this past Sunday, when a church stops being intentional and strategic about relationships, it ceases to grow & be effective. The early church grew large and rapidly, yet they worked hard to be a family rather than a crowd; a caring community rather than a collection of individuals. When it came to building relationships, they excelled! (Acts 2:42-47) We must understand that the depth of our relationships determines the level of our influence. When we take the time and make the effort to build better relationships, we have greater opportunities to share the good news and disciple all the nations. But it really all begins with our relationship with God!

When the Pharisees, who were very religious people, tried to trap Jesus with the theological question, “Which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus responded with this amazing summary of the law, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Our relationship with God comes first because it fosters and fuels our ability to love others.

When we experience the amazing, immeasurable, and undeserved love of God, we become a vessel through which the Holy Spirit can pour out God’s love on others! Indeed, relational intimacy with God results in relational influence with people. If we are serious about building better relationships with people, we have to start with establishing a right relationship with God. And this can only happen through the gracious gift and perfect sacrifice of Jesus who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father, except through me.” This is the good news of the grace of God; for everyone has sinned and fallen short of God’s glorious standard and the wages of sin is death - physically, spiritually, and eternally. But God so loved the world he created, that he sent his sinless Son to pay the ultimate penalty for all our sin and provide a way back into fellowship with God. 2 Corinthians 5:21 explains it this way, “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”

A new life would be a great way to start the New Year! If you have not acknowledged your sin and confessed your allegiance to Jesus, I beg you to do so today. You don’t have to clean up your life and get your act together first. Jesus invites you to come just as you are and promises to forgive all your sin, filling you with his Holy Spirit who teaches and empowers us to live a Christ-like life! If you have questions or would like to speak with someone about this decision, please call the church office 601/482-1322 or fill out a Connection Card on our website at  

For those who have surrendered your life to Christ and received the gift of the Holy Spirit, I encourage you to deepen your relationship with God and others daily through the practice of the spiritual disciplines and cultivation of the fruit of the Spirit. I recall this old adage I’ve tried to follow all my life: “Give God the first hour of every day, the first day of every week, and the first tenth of every paycheck.” (Matthew 6:31-33)

Once again, thank you for your continued faithfulness to Christ and His church during this season of COVID & transition. I continue to see God working in and through the NorthPark community of faith and I am grateful for His Spirit of unity with which He is guiding us! To God be the glory!!

Happy New Year, Greg

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