New Year, New You

New Year, New You

          Ok, the “new year, new you” is truly not a serious title.  We all wish it were that easy.  We all wish the change in calendar could equal a real change in our habits or circumstances.  In reality, going from 2019 to 2020 is simply a change in digits on forms or checks we are writing.  The calendar has no inherent power to bring change.

            That said, the new year does help us mentally to start fresh in areas of our lives.  It’s a natural time to start an exercise program or a diet.  The holidays are over with its down time and abundance of sweets.  There’s nothing magical about the change in date but why not take advantage of some natural emotional momentum to turn over the proverbial new leaf?

            I’m not into resolutions because they so easily are broken, but why not consider some fresh commitments for 2020?  All are made with reliance upon God’s grace to help us.  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Commit yourself afresh to spending daily time in God’s Word and in prayer.  A multitude of Bible reading plans are out there.  Ligonier Ministries has provided this helpful link with a number of plans via their web site:  https://www.ligonier.org/blog/bible-reading-plans/ 
  • Commit yourself afresh to consistent worship involvement.   God says His Sabbath is a gift from Him to us. Many years ago, I asked a young couple who had dropped out of worship where they were.  One of them responded, “Well, Sunday is the only day I have for myself.” My response was that God only asks for one day out of seven (really, He gets them all, but I think you get the point).  The One who made us, sustains us, and redeemed us by His Son is worthy of our worship. Commit yourself to making worship a priority for you and your family! 
  • Commit yourself to building relationships in the body of Christ.  We have too many people in the church who are Sunday morning worship attenders only.  You need connections within the body.  Here’s an immediate application: Why not plan to say for AWOL this Sunday? There’s a good first step in building relationships! Hey, you need to eat lunch anyway!
  • Commit yourself to having a ministry of service here at HLPC.  There’s lots of little things that need doing every week from simple cleanup, to greeting visitors, to nursery help.  We’re not the size church that has lots of paid staff around to do things.  We need an all “hands on deck” mentality.

Just a few suggestions for fresh commitments. Again, all the changes in our hearts and lives are with the help of God by His Spirit.  May He bring the changes we need to bring Him glory, to grow us closer to Him, and to advance His name in our community!

Paul Bankson
pbankson@gmail.com

Paul was born and raised in Birmingham, AL and graduated from Auburn University in 1986 with a degree in Business Administration. It was at Auburn that he met his wife, Connie. They were married in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and moved to Jackson, MS where he attended Reformed Theological Seminary graduating with a Master of Divinity in 1991. Upon graduation, Paul served as a Campus Minister with RUF, the campus ministry of the PCA, at Tennessee-Martin where the Banksons lived for 5 years. They moved to Macon, GA in 1996 to work with RUF at Mercer University and then Paul joined the pastoral staff at First Presbyterian Church of Macon as an Assistant Pastor in 1999. In 2004, Paul and his family moved to Warner Robins where he served as a church planter and then organizing Pastor of Houston Lake Presbyterian Church. In December 2014 Paul completed a Doctor of Ministry degree through Reformed Theological Seminary of Orlando. Paul and Connie have three sons, Andrew (23), Stephen (20), and Matthew (15). Paul enjoys grilling, camping with his family, and Auburn sports (War Eagle!).