Got A Resolution?
January 4, 2023 Creekwood United Methodist Church

Perceived Value - Deep Thoughts

Posted in Advent 2022, Deep Thoughts

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Is it appropriate that we resolve to “wait?”

That wouldn’t sit well with me, as I’m an action-oriented individual, but I have learned that those who take action only do so because they’ve been waiting on, and expecting, the chance to do so. Our expectations play a large part in our outcome.

In Acts 1, the apostles see the risen Christ – which I can’t imagine was a calm experience. Can you imagine the mind-blowing reality that someone you saw dead is now alive before you in full heavenly glory! That was a powerful enough moment to completely change the way the world experienced God through Jesus. People, because of that experience, were willing to sell everything and even die to proclaim the truth that Jesus is God’s Son and through the grace of Jesus our sins are forgiven. I bet everyone in that moment was ready to run off and tell anyone and everyone what they witnessed!


Acts 1:4 :: “While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father.”

Does Jesus KNOW what he’s asking?

I guess thinking about it…perhaps it’s better that the apostles don’t run off in an adrenaline-fueled stupor.

Or perhaps Jesus doesn’t want our faithful living to be dependent only on ecstatic/unbelievable moments and wants us to learn to see God’s presence in the minutiae of life?

The question I want answered is whether anyone else saw the tongues of fire on the heads of the apostles in Acts 2. I always assumed so, but the crowd just thinks they are drunk. Surely the appearance of magical flames would have let the crowd know something supernatural was afoot, but the crowd has no idea. There’s a part of me that believes the apostles were the only ones who saw the flames, and I think it’s because they were doing something no one else was doing: Waiting.

“Waiting” is not sitting still for the sake of sitting still.

“Waiting” is not the absence of action.

“Waiting” is a sense of expectancy that something is about to happen, and when it does I will be in the best position to take advantage of it. “Waiting” for a train doesn’t mean staying in your bed, it means being ready to hop on when the train comes. Jesus’ command for the apostles to wait is the command to expect the Holy Spirit to stir within them and be on the lookout so they don’t miss their moment. Jesus consistently tells us to wait for his coming again, but not while sitting twiddling our thumbs. We are meant to prepare ourselves to be in the position to jump on the train when the Spirit shows up, and here’s the truth I’ve learned: The Spirit never leaves.

It’s our resolution to be ready and prepared, because the Spirit is always guiding and inspiring. Great things happen when Christians learn to always “wait” upon the Lord.

So let’s resolve to “wait.”

  • Wait by putting your name down to volunteer. What better way to put yourself in a position of seeing something amazing then by engaging in the vehicle that will bring amazing to bear.
  • Wait by showing up to worship and small groups consistently. Put yourself in the best place to be in tune with what the Spirit is doing.
  • Wait by proactively making a plan to give.

Giving financially is consistently shown to be the #1 practice that leads to spiritual growth. Sound weird? Jesus says, “Where your treasure is, there will you heart be also.” (Matthew 6:21). While giving to a church has a million practical benefits for the ministry we do, its primary role is to help you turn your trust over to the Lord. To “wait” with expectancy that God will bring purpose and peace.

On the week of January 8th we will send out pledge cards for you to estimate your giving for the 2023 calendar year. The Biblical example is to calculate 10% of your income and strive to give that to God. If you would like help or advice on what amount to give, because you’re worried about a fixed income or otherwise, I am happy to help you work that in a loving, gracious way. We’d like for you to return your pledge cards in worship on January 29th. However, if you’d like to pledge online for ease, you can do so through the ShelbyNEXT portal, following these instructions (only choose year 2023). If you need help accessing your Shelby NEXT account, please contact Rusty Nickols or David Lessner.

I’d also invite you to check out the Winter/Spring edition of the Creekwood magazine to see our Narrative Budget, and how your contributions go to empower our community with Christ’s love.

May we “wait” on the Lord by putting ourselves in the spot to notice how God is already calling us into action.


David Lessner

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