Happy New Year from Genesis Church. It is that time again, time for resolutions, which tend to revolve around the idea of a better you. Over the next few days we will hear the message of achievement and self-betterment voiced over and over telling you to maximize your potential, fulfill your destiny, become the real you, etc. Often, voices within the church jump in on this chorus, trying to baptize the self-fulfillment message shouted by the culture. We are told that this is the year of increase, that God wants to prosper us if only we would believe, and that God’s greatest goal for you is to give you the best life now. It is so easy for us to buy into this message, but God has a much better message for you. I was struck by a quote from a recent Desiring God blog written by Greg Morse, where he said, “Don’t be yourself. Be something higher. Be who God predestined you to be. Be who you are in Jesus.” As the New Year begins, our highest goal should be to see the glory of Christ, and as a result have our lives transformed. This happens through our intimacy with Christ while we walk through a life that is real, which may include hardship, suffering, sickness, pain, and even death.
The other day I was reading through Psalm 89 while praying for our church, and I realized that this Psalm contains a great call for the New Year. So this is my prayer in the New Year for Genesis as a people, and for anyone who claims Christ. The Psalm is a reminder that God is the true King, and that He has promised a descendant of David to fulfill all of His promises. And it is a reminder that no matter where we are as 2018 begins, true joy is found when our view of God increases and our view of self decreases. So may we hear these words and let our hearts see God as the sovereign King, Creator, and the hope for all people.
 Let the heavens praise your wonders, O LORD,
your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones!
 For who in the skies can be compared to the LORD?
Who among the heavenly beings is like the LORD,
 a God greatly to be feared in the council of the holy ones,
and awesome above all who are around him?
 O LORD God of hosts,
who is mighty as you are, O LORD,
with your faithfulness all around you?
 You rule the raging of the sea;
when its waves rise, you still them.
 You crushed Rahab like a carcass;
you scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.
 The heavens are yours; the earth also is yours;
the world and all that is in it, you have founded them.
 The north and the south, you have created them;
Tabor and Hermon joyously praise your name.
 You have a mighty arm;
strong is your hand, high your right hand.
 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;
steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.
 Blessed are the people who know the festal shout,
who walk, O LORD, in the light of your face,
 who exult in your name all the day
and in your righteousness are exalted.
 For you are the glory of their strength;
by your favor our horn is exalted.
 For our shield belongs to the LORD,
our king to the Holy One of Israel. (ESV)