New Hope for a New Year

7 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure.[b] This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. 2 Cor. 4:8 NLT

For a lot of people this year has been rough. Bad health, death in the family, financial issues, family fall-outs, business slumps – a whole number of things could have contributed to a year that we would like to forget. Unfortunately, many of us are still left wondering what will make next year any better? What are the guarantees that we can do anything better or get any more favorable results? Many of us are wondering what happened to this last year and why we haven’t made any progress.

It’s ironic how we often pray to God to make something happen or make something successful, but rarely put our own effort into it. We sit back and wait for God to work His magic so that we can reap the rewards. It would be nice if it worked this way, but is it really biblical? We forget that God has ALREADY granted us gifts, talents, hope, and power. The verse above says that ” . . . our great power is from God, not from ourselves.” What power? Does this mean that we have some special power that we are not tapping into? YES! Before Jesus was taken into Heaven he said that he would leave with us a Counselor – a helper. This is the Holy Spirit that dwells within us and gives us strength.

We usually tend to look for God “out there somewhere”, but forget that in the Holy Spirit He dwells inside us as well. If our intentions and goals will glorify Him, then they will succeed through that power. The key, however, is that we actually have to USE that power. If we are sitting on our hands, we are not using it.

So, do you have some things that you want to accomplish in this next year? Do you have a laid out goal and a plan to achieve it? I have heard many times that there are three keys to setting goals:

1. The goal must be measurable and specific. (Don’t just say I want to get more customers, how many customers do you want?) Otherwise, how will you know when you are there?

2. Keep the goal in front of your face. Write down the goal and then put it somewhere where you will see it such as your PC screen saver or a post it on your bathroom mirror. This will keep us from forgetting about it and being in the same place a year from now. (Believe me – been there, done that.)

3. Keep the goal realistic. Break the goal up into small milestones and achieve them one by one. This will help to keep the goal attainable and real. It’s always easy to think we have a vision of something, but not really have a grasp on what it is or how it is attained.

Last, but not least . . . Remember that the power is within us and that God WANTS us to succeed! When life is kicking your butt, kick back! I and the Christian Business Society are devoted to helping one another succeed for the glory of God. Just imagine – if each of us has ambitions and the power from God to get there, imagine if we put it all together and support one another . . . That’s A LOT OF POWER! This is not the “health and wealth gospel”, rather it is God’s call for each of us to glorify Him while having life to the fullest. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to use that power that He has so graciously given and start living!

Blessings to all for a great 2011!!!!!!

Pastor B

*FSM is supported mostly by donations from weddings officiated in the Chicagoland area. If you are a loved one are in need of a minister for your wedding, contact us at .

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