Most of us recognize the new year as a time of new commitment, planning and resolve. We want to serve God more fully in our own personal lives, and in the lives of our church.
As we “cross the Jordan” lets take some time to meditate on the words of John Wesley’s covenant service that is a part of many churches’ new year tradition
Lord, make me what you will. I put myself fully in your hands: put me to doing, put me to sacrifice, let me be employed for you, or laid aside for you, let me be full, let me be empty, let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and with a willing heart give it all to your pleasure and disposal.
Christ will be the Savior of none but his servants. He is the source of all salvation to those who obey. Christ will have no servants except by consent;
Christ will not accept anything except full consent to all he requires. Christ will be all in all, or he will be nothing.
Confirm this by holy covenant.
To make this covenant a reality in your life, listen to these admonitions
First, set apart some time, more than once, to be spent alone before the Lord; in seeking earnestly God’s special assistance and gracious acceptance of you;
In carefully thinking through all the conditions of the covenant; in searching your hearts whether you have already freely given your life to Christ.
Consider what your sins are. Consider the laws of Christ, how holy, strict, and spiritual they are, and whether you, after having carefully considered them are willing to choose them all.
Be sure that you are clear in these matters, see that you do not lie to God.
Second, be serious in a spirit of holy awe and reverence.
Third, claim God’s covenant, rely upon God’s promise of giving grace and strength, so you can keep your promise. Trust not your own strength and power.
Fourth, resolve to be faithful. You have given to the Lord your hearts, you have opened your mouths to the Lord, and you have dedicated yourself to God. With God’s power, never go back.
And last, be prepared to renew your covenant with the Lord. Fall down on your knees, lift your hands toward heaven, open your hearts to the Lord, and pray.
Let us go forward in this new year in the anointing and power of the Lord. Let us be strong and courageous. Let us serve God with our whole hearts; in love, in faith and in unity.