Dear Co-laborers in Christ,
Welcome to the new year! I hope you have had some time to reflect on this past year as I suggested in the December newsletter and evaluate your efforts for God’s kingdom. I am excited to begin a new year, which will be my first full year as the senior pastor. It was the beginning of last year that I began as interim pastor, and when I look back at some of the growth I have seen in people, I cannot help but praise the Lord.
This month, I want to emphasize your role as a co-laborer for God’s kingdom. Every person who is a believer is expected to be laboring for the spread of the gospel. Paul reminded readers in his letters that the people were “coworkers” or “co-laborers” for the gospel. The same thing is still true today! If you are a follower of Christ, you are expected to be laboring for him. Not to earn salvation – that is a free gift – but to prove the faith you say you have.
There is no such thing as a “sideline Christian” who says they follow Christ but have nothing to show for it. That is exactly what James was saying when he wrote, “Faith, without works, is dead.” I encourage you to read through the New Testament over the next couple months and take note of each passage where Jesus’ followers are described as workers or are commanded to be doing something. You will notice very quickly that the faith of believers in the Bible was an active faith.
Use the beginning of this year to make a commitment to reading God’s word. It has the very power of life and salvation inside it. Even people who have set out to prove it wrong have seen its incredible power of transformation. Also, renew your commitment to worshipping in a community of believers at church. Don’t be faithless in your church attendance. It is vital for your spiritual growth and development. Above all, make your commitment to doing whatever God tells you during this next year. That could be any number of things, but just be ready to say, “Yes!” when it comes.
May the blessings of the New Year shower down on you,