“But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.”  (1 Samuel 12:24)

As we look forward to the year 2014 and with 2013 now in the rear view mirror, I cannot help but marvel at what great things God has done for us!  At Redeemer we have experienced another year of blessing and growth.  We have seen increases in our Sunday School attendance, added new Growth Groups, added new members to the congregation, and have added new office staff!  All these things are only possible because of the powerful hand of the Lord at work.

When the prophet Samuel said these words in 1 Sam. 12, he was encouraging the people to ponder both the Lord’s faithfulness and His might.  For as they went forward, they needed to have a healthy understanding of the Lord’s provision as well as His power.  Samuel knew that while he would not be with them always, the Lord would be.  So Samuel gave his message to prepare the people to go forward in Godly confidence.

At Redeemer, we look forward to the New Year with hope, mindful of God’s faithfulness in the past, and therefore confident of His continued faithfulness in the future.  Lord willing, 2014 has some great things in store!   In fact, Jesus promises His disciples that those who believe in Him and do the work He has called them to, will do “even greater things!” (John 14:12).  May it be that God works even greater things in our midst next year!

But truly, if we accomplish anything great in our congregation, it will not be because of our own cleverness or ability; it will be because of God’s goodness and His faithfulness.  Samuel’s reminder that Israel needed to consider the great things God had done for them was as much a corrective as a comfort.  Our human nature is no different than in Samuel’s day – we want to take the credit for our accomplishments ourselves.  We need to both trust in God to work through us, but also to give Him the glory when He does!

So join me in thanking God for the great things He has done at Redeemer last year!  And with the wonder of Christmas still in our hearts, may we marvel at the great thing that God has done in sending His own Son into the world to take on human flesh!  Through His sinless life and painful death, He won us forgiveness of sins and showed us the way to the even “greater things” that God has in store!

Thankful and Hopeful,

Pastor Augie.