The Weekly Epistle 1/3/24

Hi Church Family,

I missed worshipping with you this past Sunday and look forward to what God is going to do in our church in this new year. To begin this year, one of the elders, Gary Cobis, has shared some very timely and appropriate words for us as a church. I appreciate Gary’s reminder of the importance of self-examination and I hope you are encouraged by it as well! 

I was taught long ago that a business that does not take inventory of the stock and trade, usually goes broke. How much more as followers of Christ do we need to take honest inventory of ourselves and evaluate our lives on a daily basis. We must confess our sins and walk rightly with God. This sometimes can be a painful process of honestly examining ourselves, allowing others to speak into our lives, admitting our sins, and taking corrective measures (repentance). 

Part of my daily activities, usually at the end of the day, is to sit quietly and think about the people I have met. I think about the conversations I had, and wonder if I could have done better? Have I hurt anyone? Do I need to forgive someone? Am I accepting life as it is, or how I think it ought to be? Am I fearful? Am I trusting and relying upon God or myself? 

King David spoke of this in Psalm 26:2-3: “Test me, oh Lord, and try me, examine my heart, and my mind, for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth.” 

Self-examination and honest, personal inventory of ourselves can be painful. Remember, Jesus is close to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18). He also came to break the power of sin (Romans 6:23). He doesn’t want us to stay frozen in unhealthy relationships or stay stuck in bad habits. He wants us to live free. 

Keep in mind that God never intended for us to live this life on our own. That is why he sent his indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, which enables us to live this life, one day at a time. 

I pray that this coming year when we have these quiet times with the Lord, we should not only look at where we need to change, but also celebrate what he is doing in our lives. May we grow this year in loving him with all our hearts and loving others as ourselves. 

Grace & Peace, Gary Cobis