January 1, 2017 Sunday

Upcoming series for January 2017 (weekdays): Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor) will present a series of blogs, dealing with various issues raised in the recent election that showed a deep divide, impacting both society at large and the church (especially many AMI churches that minister to university students and young professionals in the city).  The thoughts presented are processed through the standpoint of the Radical-Middle (both/and), personal narratives, and pastoral concerns.  I welcome your “rational” feedback.

Today’s devotional is written by Pastor Joshua Kim of Church of Southland.

Devotional Thought for Today

Jude 1:24-25

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

new-yearAccording to an article in Forbes, over 40% of Americans make some kind of New Year’s resolution. I’m not sure if you’re in the 40%, but here is a daunting statistics: only 8% of people actually achieve their resolutions. This means that out of the estimated 322 million people in the US, only about 10 million people make and achieve their New Year’s resolutions. So what drives us to continue this, despite the low rate of success.

Whether it be losing weight, saving money, or taking that step of faith, we often end the year looking through the list of things that we wish we could have accomplished or done differently, wondering where all the time has gone. For some, this past year was filled with exciting changes and victories, while for others, it has been a year full of trials, stagnation, or even heartbreak. Wherever you may be (maybe it’s been a hectic mixture of both) as we begin this new year, be encouraged by the truth Jude speaks to our hearts in this proclamation of praise.Though our success rate of achieving our resolutions may only be 8%, we serve a God who is able—His success rate is 100%; He does not fail. Even for Jude’s time, to a church pervaded by false teachers and persecution, it is a word of promise and confidence. He is able to keep you from stumbling. The implication here is that if you continue to abide in faith and trust in Him, He will keep you from falling and present you blameless before His presence.

As you embark on this first day of a new year, the reality is that by the end of the year you probably will not have gone to the gym as often or bought less stuff from Amazon as you resolved to do. But there is one thing you can be assured of in this moment: He is faithful. Through the feelings of excitement, anxiety, fear, uncertainty, etc. I pray that what shines above them all is a sense of joy. A joy that comes from knowing that God is with you. He has been with you. He has kept you to this point. And if you walk in faith this year, despite the failures and successes you face, it will be His faithfulness that keeps you, now and forever.

To the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for this new year—another year You have allowed me to experience Your great love. Although I long to be with You and wait expectantly for Your return, I believe that You have a purpose for this next year. I believe that whatever I may face this upcoming year, You will be faithful. Help me to trust You every day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 1 Kings 22

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