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Alleluia Newsletter

January 2016

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From Me to You

From Me to You:

“If any are in Christ, they are new creations. 
The old has passed away; behold, all things are becoming new!”
(2 Corinthians 5:17)

Happy New You!
No, that’s not a typo.  While the world around us focuses on changing the date, we who believe in Jesus Christ know that He continues to be at work transforming our lives to show and serve Him in this world!

What does that transformation look like?

In a Word, Jesus:  “those whom God foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29).  Having received Christ (John 1:12), the Holy Spirit continues the process of changing us (the traditional theological term is sanctification) to take out of our lives the things that aren’t of God and don’t show Jesus, and to put into us the character and gifts that best let Jesus shine through all we think, say and do (Philippians 2:13; Matthew 5:14-16).

That doesn’t mean transformation is easy or painless. 

The fact is:  becoming complete in Christ (Colossians 1:28) and having our lives be a “living sacrifice acceptable to God” (Romans 12:1) is a lot like surgery:  God chips and cuts away the hardness and sinful patterns of our lives, gives us a heart and lung transplant (Ezekiel 37:26), a new mind (Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 2:16), and even a whole new body (1 Corinthians 12:7-27).  And God doesn’t stop there:  ultimately He will make all things new, including heaven and earth (Revelation 21:1, 5).

OK:  so what does this mean for us as the body of Christ at/as Pasadena Presbyterian Church?

Two things for 2016:  1) the Lord will continue to break, mold and shape us to show and serve Him.  Another motif of that in Scripture is given in John 15 where the Father prunes the vine (John 15:2).  Pruning, like surgery, is a painful process as Bruce Wilkinson notes in his booklet “Secrets of the Vine:” the Lord “cuts away immature commitments and lesser priorities to make room for even greater abundance for His glory” (p. 58).  And so 2) God’s faithfulness in not letting us go and just go our own ways (1 Peter 2:25) leads to us bearing much more fruit (John 15:2 again). 

The Lord’s surgery isn’t plastic—it’s perfect!

With all the Lord is doing in and among us to cause us to grow in Christ and go in the right direction following Him, we should look for even more opportunities to bring worshippers to  Jesus in the world around us and around the world in 2016. 

The Lord Jesus is at work causing us to become His new creations which we are! 

So, instead of making resolutions for a new year, how about asking the Lord to continue His revolution and produce a new you--“Christ in you, the hope of glory” as Paul says (Colossians 1:27)!

Looking forward, upward and outward to all Jesus will do in, with and through us all in 2016!

In Christ,

Carl

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