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A New Year
2017
Paul Foslien, Senior Pastor, Living Word Family Church, Naples, FL
January 5, 2017

It is a new year and, for many, it is a brand new start – a new beginning. It is a time when we reflect on where we have been, and look forward to where we want to go. In this new year, it seemed fitting to also go back to ‘the beginning’ in the Word of God. In Genesis chapter one, we see God building and creating all there is and all that is to come as “. . . God created the heavens and the earth.”.

God, our perfect, loving, and all-sufficient Father, created the heavens and the earth according to what He saw as right – as true and perfect. There is nothing and never will be something that God created by accident: His purpose and ways are higher and wiser than what we can imagine. Consequently, He created us in His image and in His likeness, and we are not mistakes. We do not exist because of a random occurrence or because of a technical mistake God made. We exist because our Lord loves us; He desires to have a relationship with us, and He only wants the best for us.

Just as our Lord created the heavens and the earth, we too have the ability to ‘create or build’ in our own lives. However, we have a choice to make when we create something. Either we are going to create and build for our own life, or we are going to create and build for God and in accordance with His word. Unfortunately, many people go throughout their daily life frustrated as they chase success, fame, glory, honor, and praise from none other than their peers. People are stuck in the trenches of building their own life without the ability or recollection to fulfill themselves. In cases such as these, people are choosing to build their own life instead of building their life for God – which, ultimately, is the source of many of their struggles.

It is seemingly counterintuitive for many to believe that serving God and building His kingdom, first, will also build their own life. The thoughts and beliefs remain that, if I put God first, then my life is going to suffer, and all I want to accomplish will remain undone. The truth is that by building God’s kingdom, you in-turn build your own life, but with the support, wisdom, comfort, strength, power, and love of God building your life with you. The truth is that your life will never be as fulfilled, as successful, as prosperous, as joyful, or as impactful than when we put God first and choose to build His kingdom by seeking God first and living a Christ-centered life. I once heard a quote which applies perfectly to this situation, “obedience does not require understanding.” For many, this is the greatest stronghold in their life which prevents them from moving closer to God: we will demand to know ‘why’ we should or should not do something instead of using faith and being obedient to God without fully understanding why or how it makes sense.

I encourage you to ‘get out of the trenches’ this year and choose to follow the Lord, our savior, with everything that is in you. Choose, intentionally and truly, to seek God, to get into His Word, to pray, to serve, to give, and to love like never before. Choose to build the kingdom of God and ask yourself, “what am I building?” Am I building my own life, or am I building God’s kingdom with this decision or this action? So, what are you going to start sowing into His kingdom in 2017?

God bless and Happy New Year,

Pastor Paul Foslien

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