Weak Leaders

I have a little bit of leadership experience in my life. Not much, but some.

And I wrestle with it. I wrestle with what my role should look like, how I should speak, act, behave, and think.

I write about it quite a bit too. This post may sound similar to previous posts on my blog.

I think our churches need weak leaders.

I think our families need weak leaders.

I think our communities need weak leaders.

Let me clarify what I mean when I say that.

I think that right now in our present day and age, leaders are supposed to be strong, stoic, emotionless men and women who are put on pedestals.

I experienced that big time in college. I had the opportunity to lead ministries on and off campus, speak in chapels, lead mission teams, etc. And there was almost always a weight (often self-imposed) to be strong, to be perfect, to uphold the image of whatever ministry I found myself leading.

As a matter of fact, what drew me to my now wife Jamie was that she never accepted that version of me. From the beginning of our relationship she would tell me that she knew there was more to me than my public image. She gave me the freedom to step down off the pedestal I had been put on.

I still feel that weight at times. I still have felt the expectation to not crack under the pressure of leadership.

Yet, when I look at Scripture, I see only one strong Man. His Name is Jesus. Every other character was broken. Every other person in the story had flaws and failures. Every other person was weak.

I just recently started looking closely at the book of Genesis. It’s a beautiful book. It’s not its own set apart story. It is the beginning of a much larger story that spans all of Scripture: the story of God’s redemptive work on behalf of and through His chosen, covenant people.

We quickly see just how insignificant we are. How weak we are. It’s counter-cultural. It’s certainly not going to be featured in any self-image, self-help blogs. But it’s the reality of our lives.

then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. – Genesis 2:7 

I am of dust.

Meaning, I am insignificant.

It also means that I am reliant upon God in everything.

Acts 17 echoes this.

The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. – Acts 17:24-25

One of my favorite prayers is “Thank You Lord for this day, thank You for giving me life and breath and everything else.”

It keeps going in Scripture though.

Look at 1 Corinthians 15.

For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. – 1 Corinthians 15:53

One day our dusty, broken bodies will be replaced with spiritual, heavenly bodies that will not fade.

Until then, I believe that we need weak leaders. Not in the terms of timidity, cowardice, and the like, but rather in terms of confession, emotion, prayer, and admitting weakness.

1. Confess Sin

One of the worst misunderstandings in Christian culture is that pastors are supposed to be perfect. Yes, they are clearly held to a higher standard in the Scriptures, but there is only one holy man, and again, His Name is Jesus.

In my pedestal days at OBU, there was so much sin in my heart that I felt like I couldn’t take to anyone about (again, until Jamie). Which was again likely self-imposed. I bought the press of being different and unique in regards to sin.

I look around and literally bi-weekly, some famous pastor in our country falls into moral failure of some degree.

I combat that path by consistently and constantly bringing my sin into the light. I meet with a counselor/mentor a couple times a month, and I do my best to drag sin into the light.

When wise and applicable, I speak about sin struggles from the pulpit.

When wise and applicable, I speak about sin struggles to my students as well.

My hope and prayer is that no one in the church I attend ever sees me as perfect.

2. Admit Weakness

Until pretty recently, I thought I had to have all the answers and had to excel at every area of my job. Thankfully God has taught me that a true leader admits weakness. And honestly, it’s freeing. It’s freeing to acknowledge that I have a great team of volunteers around me that are way better at certain things than I am.

But think about how counter-cultural that is.

Our culture flocks to leaders that exude confidence and bravado, who act the part.

Saying “I’m weak in this area” is one way for me to acknowledge my dustiness.

3. Pray. Pray. Pray. 

Lord help me for all the times I’ve acted like I don’t need You.

Prayer is the clearest proof of acknowledging weakness. It’s the clearest way to say “God, I need you for life, breath, and everything else.” This season of my life without a pastor has given me a new appreciation for how much I need Jesus. Every hour I need Him.

If you aren’t prayerful, you likely have bought the lie that you’re strong.

4. Don’t Be Afraid To Share Your Emotions

One part of American leadership that I’ve always wrestled with is the idea of stoicism. This is even more imposed on masculine leadership.

I acknowledge fully that I’m wired differently. I am an emotive person. But when I look at Scripture, I see more than enough room for emotions being displayed, even by those in positions of leadership.

Yes, wisdom and maturity are important. But acknowledging sadness, discouragement, fear, and the like is a practice that I have started to do with the team around me (I literally talked last night at youth about how I wrestle sometimes with my identity in Christ, how I get discouraged). And so far, none of them have told me that they no longer want to follow me. Maybe, just maybe, it’s refreshing to people.

I am imperfect at being weak.

But I do think that our churches, homes, and communities need more weak leaders.

If you enjoyed this, please consider sharing it! You can follow my blog down below or via the menu on the right side of the page! Also, I appreciate any and all feedback, so comment below as well! 

In His Name,

Nathan Roach

 

Diary Of A Wimpy Pastor

It was a bajillion degrees outside in Phoenix, AZ, and I was sitting in the parking lot of Lifeway (my second home) on the phone with my Dad. I was unleashing upon his eardrums a tirade of frustration, complaint, and whining. Life was unfair according to me. I was facing what to me at the time was a mountain of impassable difficulties. And I was letting my Dad know all about it. Yet my Dad’s response was to lovingly listen to me and then tell me to man up and push forward. So I called someone else. I called whoever I could, waiting for someone to give me the green light to give up and give in to my complaints. But man after man spoke strength into my life, rather than give me the license to give up. I limped through the rest of my commitments and then headed back to Texas.

This morning I was reading and came across the following verse.

If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength! – Proverbs 24:10

I’m seeking to memorize that verse this week because it’s a convicting one. If I falter in a time of trouble, my strength is small.

What’s become explicitly clear to me in the last year of ministry in Vernon is that getting out of one difficult situation didn’t make my life perfect. There sure was a honeymoon stage of excitement in the vast unknown of the new adventure, but the trials came, and the difficulties arose. And whenever God calls me out of Vernon, there will be troubles and difficulties at the next place too.

What these experiences and this proverb have taught me is that I’m a wimpy pastor.

Being a wimpy pastor isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

It’s how I respond to the wimp in me that determines if I’m walking in sinful behavior or not.

As a kid, I wanted out of difficult situations. It’s why I tried to quit football my Sophomore year of high school after one week of practice. I knew I was going to get lit up like the Fourth of July day after day and I was no longer interested. Thankfully my parents made me honor my commitment. They were people of their word.

Yet I wanted to run.

That’s a sinful response in my opinion, or at least it’s prone to be. If I’m seeking to run from all my troubles, I will never develop the strength to overcome them.

If I’m a runner and not a fighter, then I will bail from responsibilities, from interceding for my students and family. That’s not what God has called men to, or women to for that matter.

So, I acknowledge I’m wimpy.

To find the strength to overcome, I need to acknowledge something.

I need God’s strength.

You see, God DOES give us more than we can handle.

Look at Scripture!! Again, Biblical illiteracy is an epidemic these days.

Look at Abraham, Moses, Job, the Israelites in Egypt, Paul, Peter, Esther, Joshua, Gideon, David. I wish I had space to unpack every one of these stories, but I don’t. But go back and read these narratives! God gave every single one of these characters more than they could handle. Why? So that they would rely on Him. Why? So that when victory came, it would prove that only God could have brought it, only God could have won the day.

I know that I’m going to face more than my own weak little self can handle. This wimpy pastor can’t face all the evil of our day in my own strength. I must be wholly dependent upon God.

For me, I needed my Dad and others in my life to tell me to keep fighting, to keep going.

I have an adversary. I have an enemy. Satan comes to bring the fight to my doorstep. When things are going well, when God has been blessing my wife and I’s ministry here in Vernon, I know to be on guard against temptation and to buckle up and get ready for trials. I have an enemy, not that I’m scared of, but that I’m aware of.

What’s awesome to me is that the Bible tells us how to overcome him.

And they (the saints who went before us) overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. – Revelation 12:11

I’m a wimpy pastor.

I get nervous and fearful, anxious and worried. Not only do I face my own battles, I’m often acutely aware of the battles of my brothers and sisters in Christ as well.

What’s the antidote to my wimpy nature? The Bible teaches that I’m weak if I give up when trouble comes.

So how do I overcome? How do I push through?

First, I rest in the blood of the Lamb. The battle has already been won. Jesus already accomplished the victory. Satan just doesn’t know when he’s beat.

Second, I speak the words of my testimony over my life. Not some mythical or magical incantation. No, I simply remind myself of all that God has done in my life. The bajillion times that He’s been faithful. The gazillion times that He’s come through for me. When I speak the truth of God’s faithfulness to myself, I’m far less likely to give into despair and timidity.

Lastly, I stop loving my life.

Not that I begin to manufacture depression or discouragement, by no means. Rather, I realize that life on this earth is not the end game. If I give my literal life for the students of Vernon (extremely unlikely), then so be it. Satan can’t really do anything to me if I don’t mind dying for the cause of Christ.

I’m prone to being a wimpy pastor.

But I don’t stay that way.

You may be like me. You may be a wimp at times. If so, I pray that these passages and truths are encouraging to you just as they have been to me. Let’s grow in our courage together. If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends! I’m also open to discussion if you would like to comment below. Thanks for reading my ramblings.

In His Name,

Nate Roach

Strength Amidst Difficulty

It’s early evening on a Tuesday and I’m already feeling like getting ready for bed. I stand up from my couch to go make dinner and my right knee aches. I’ve gone for a post-work run and the lingering discomfort of a dislocated patella suffered in my Senior year of college still plagues me after running on the hard cement. My mind runs through the stories and hurts that my students, friends, and neighbors are battling through. I make my sandwich and take my vitamin, taking a seat at my dining room table. My mind goes forward to the following day as I think and pray about the upcoming youth group night. We’ve had an incredible weekend where God has shown up, however the pressure of maintaining the camaraderie of my students in the midst of the normal status quo weighs on me a little bit too.

It’s a normal day, and the hard circumstances of my own body, my relationships, and my work are here with me.

Here’s the wonderful beauty of the gospel though. I can take these things to the Lord. In prayer, I laid out all of these before my God and Father, and the God-who-hears quieted my heart and mind with His love.

My prayer life is not anything special, exciting, or amazing. It’s simply me telling God what He already knows. In the case of last night, it was me sharing with Him the hardships I felt around me in my body, my relationships, and my work. We all face these to some degree each and every day.

In my prayers, this verse finds fulfillment:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28

The act of simply praying my difficult circumstances to the Lord brings me peace and rest. The majority of the time, my circumstances don’t change as a result of my prayers. Instead, my perspective is what changes after I present my requests to God.

In the case of last night, I journaled and prayed through a Psalm. Slowly but surely as the night went on I found myself encouraged and lifted up by reflecting on the ways that God was blessing my body, my relationships, and my work.

Due to changes in my diet, my body feels better than it has in a while. Due to modern technology, last night I was able to spend time with and have fun with my friends. God showed up in marvelous ways at the Disciple Now we put on, bringing 3 students to salvation as well as a litany of other spiritual decisions. Prayer reminded me that yes, life is hard sometimes, but God also blesses me in great ways each day.

 

The omnipresence of God brings the courage and strength necessary to wade through the gritty brokenness of our world and its impact on our bodies, relationships, and vocations. That’s why prayer is becoming more and more beautiful to me, since it reminds me of that reality of God’s presence.

This morning I read Joshua 1:1-9 in my time of study and the familiar verses of God’s promises to and commissioning of Joshua was a needed encouragement that He is present and we have no need to be afraid.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. – Joshua 1:9

Now, this statement of God recorded in Scripture is not to us, it is to Joshua. But the truth of God’s presence is shown throughout Scripture and so we should respond to it the same way that God calls Joshua to respond to it: by being strong and courageous.

What Joshua faced is incredible. The first leader of the nation (Moses) of Israel has been God’s instrument of rescue from Egypt, and led the people through the wilderness and the Law of God. Moses dies and now Joshua is tasked with leading the nation into the promised land and into war. I can’t imagine the pressure, anxiousness, or weight of this endeavor. To follow a charismatic leader had to have been hard. To lead a perpetually fearful people into war had to have been even harder.

With all of this looming, God reminded His servant that He would be present.

This day, you will face physical, relational, and vocational difficulties.

This day, God is present.

This day, you can be strong and courageous.

In His Name,

Nate Roach

What Silver Lining?

We do not like the hardships of life. It’s not our natural inclination to see the difficulties and trials of our lives as opportunities to be molded into the image of Christ. Yet we see in the life of Paul, the preaching of church leaders throughout the ages, and our own experiences that we learn far more in the valleys than we do in the pain-free seasons of our lives.dark clouds

Look at what Paul says in the familiar passage of 2 Corinthians 12.

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me (the ‘thorn in his flesh’). But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:8-10

This is without a doubt one of the most seemingly impossible things for me to imitate. Paul had so much to boast in when it came to ministry success: a personal experience with the physically present Jesus, and his theological training. Instead, Paul learned for the sake of Jesus to delight in his weaknesses, the insults sent his way, the hardships of his life, the persecutions he endured, and the difficulties he faced day to day. Paul had a grace-filled understanding that it was in these weaknesses and in these sufferings that he was molded into the image of Christ.

Consider also the words of Charles Spurgeon.

We learn, I hope, something in the bright fields of joy, but I am more persuaded that we don’t learn a tenth as much, there, as we do in the valley of Death-Shade. – Charles Spurgeon

We do learn of Christ in the joyful and blissful moments of our lives. Yet it was Spurgeon’s belief that we learn ten times as much from the valleys. Both of these will come. We will have blissful moments and moments of deep valleys where the joy seems to have been removed from our lives. This happened in the lives of Biblical characters as well. Just read the Psalms. Psalm 22 is David crying out to God, accusing God of utterly abandoning him and forsaking him. Psalm 23 is then David proclaiming that he lacks nothing when the Lord is his Shepherd.

To be honest, it pains me to admit that this holds true in my life. The dark days show me much more of the beauty of Christ and the need to be molded more into His image. Consider the path of shadows that I walked this Spring. These are snippets from my journal and I think they clearly show the way that God uses the valleys to reinvigorate our hearts and reawaken our love for Him.

04/28 – Pain is a necessary part of our spiritual life. I HATE this reality. As a child, I rarely saw pain as good, if ever. So growing this mindset in me will take time. 

05/02 – The world is unfair. The world is dark. In light of this Lord, I need to place my hope in You. There is joy to be found in the gospel of grace. 

05/04 – You know how to rescue the godly from trials. So if you’re choosing not to do so for me at this time, it’s for a reason. 

05/18 – God, I am fighting for the light in the midst of darkness. I don’t want to be anxious every day. 

05/30 – As a disciple of Jesus I should passionately be removing from my life all the things which lessen my love for Him, and intentionally do that which grows my love for Him. 

06/04 – When I don’t spend time in Your Word, or in prayer, or in transparent fellowship, I fall apart and fall off into fear and anxiety. 

The transition from OBU to the West coast was hard. This Spring I started to come face to face with the darkness that exists in our world, as well as the reality that pain and hardships were a necessary aspect of my walk with Christ. For months I clung to Jesus as best I could. There were moments where I was angry, moments where it took all of my effort to see the silver lining in some of the clouds I was facing. There were moments and days where it felt like it took all of my energy just to get out of bed and put one foot in front of the other.

I despised this season.

That is until God began to open my eyes to that which I needed to learn from this season, as evidenced by the final two snippets I shared.

First, He reminded me that being a disciple of Jesus is an active thing, rather than a passive state of being. As a disciple, I should be passionately striving to remove from my life those things that lessen my love for Him, as well as intentionally practicing and doing those things which grow my love for Him.

I was also reminded that if I’m not in the Word daily, in prayer daily, and in transparent Christian community daily, I will backslide into sinful fear, worry, and despair.

Just today I came face to face with one of the most convicting components of this passage from 2 Corinthians 12. Paul did ask God to remove from him the thorn in his side, whatever that may have been. So asking God for rescue is by no means wrong of us. Yet, Paul eventually accepted that aspect of his life as part of his life for the glory of God, and chose to rejoice in it.

Wow.

I tend to ask for the removal of things that pain me three thousand times, not just three.

It is my prayer and hope that this blog post will encourage you to be open with your Christian community about the state of your heart on a regular basis. God uses the valleys of my life to teach me, but I still am learning. I will be learning till my last breath, and I hope we are all willing to admit the same. Not only that, I pray that this blog post will encourage you to engage in the difficult practice of rejoicing in your weaknesses and hardships for the glory of God.

His grace is sufficient for you.

In His Name,

Nathan Roach

I appreciate any and all feedback, and you can follow my blog via the menu.

 

 

We Are One

The strangest thing happened to me just the other day. In the middle of a hard day I was just chilling in my room listening to old school Disney movie soundtracks. Random I know, but it’s pretty fun to do. It was while listening to the music from the underrated but fantastic Lion King 2 that I got hit with some gospel truths.

Since the start of the new year God has been making it incredibly clear that I can’t live the Christian life outside of a strong prayer life and strong community in which to find courage and strength. These two truths have come at me from countless different directions. I’ve been reminded of them through my time in the Word, through the encouragement of a friend, through the quiet thoughts before sleep each night. And surprisingly enough, I found the encouragement and reminder to pursuelion-kin Biblical community through a song out of Lion King 2.

Before you exit out of the blog, just bear with me. This all might make sense in the end.

Here’s the gist of the scenario. Two lions in play here. Simba & Kiara. Kiara is struggling to find her purpose for her life. She doesn’t know where she fits in with the rest of the pride. Her father Simba comes along and sings to her this short song about the community that is the pride they’re in, and I truly believe that it speaks volumes about how the church functions. Here’s the full song:

As you go through life you'll see
There is so much that we
Don't understand

And the only thing we know
Is things don't always go
The way we planned

But you'll see every day
That we'll never turn away
When it seems all your dreams come undone

We will stand by your side
Filled with hope and filled with pride
We are more than we are
We are one

Kiara: If there's so much I must be
Can I still just be me
The way I am?

Kiara: Can I trust in my own heart
Or am I just one part
Of some big plan?

Even those who are gone
Are with us as we go on
Your journey has only begun

Tears of pain, tears of joy
One thing nothing can destroy
Is our pride, deep inside
We are one

We are one, you and I
We are like the earth and sky
One family under the sun

All the wisdom to lead
All the courage that you need
You will find when you see
We are one

There’s so much here that has implications on the church body although that’s obviously not the intended purpose of this song.

Simba encourages Kiara that although things might not go as she would like or she had planned, she would have a community that would never turn away from her in those hardships and failures. The encouragement that he gave to her was that they would all stand by her side in hope and pride, they as a pride are more than just individuals, they are ‘one’.

Being in Phoenix has showed me so quickly and so explicitly that I can’t keep going in the Christian walk apart from community. Evil is real, times get hard, and without the support of a church body we can easily get picked off by the enemy. I’ve been tremendously blessed by the generosity and kindness of my church body here in Phoenix. Without them it would have been far too hard to walk through death in my family and assimilating to a new place.

That’s one of the coolest blessings of following Christ. When we enter into salvation through faith, we become a part of something so much bigger than any one of us.

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, – Ephesians 2:19

so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. – Romans 12:5

That verse from Ephesians is in a passage describing what Christ did for us on the cross, all the benefits of salvation. We were saved by grace. We were affirmed as His workmanship. We have been brought near to God through the blood of Christ. We are no longer far off, instead we have been reconciled to God and are at peace with Him. We have access to the Father. Yet we also have been given the blessed hope of living in community with all believers across the globe. We are no longer strangers and aliens, we are fellow citizens in the household of God. We are, according to Paul, one body in Christ.

We are one.

The second verse of the song is even cooler in my opinion. As a younger follower of Christ, in a sense my journey has only begun, but I do not journey alone. I’m being equipped and encouraged by those who have gone before, Christ-followers from previous generations.

Simba tells Kiara that in the midst of tears of joy and tears of pain, nothing will destroy the fact that the pride is one. The pride is one big family under the sun. Simba promises Kiara that all the wisdom and courage she needs is found inside the pride, inside the community that she was born into.

Members of my generation (including myself at times) have bought the lie that we don’t need the organized church to pursue Christ. Oh that we would come to realize what a blessing the organized church is. As followers of Christ we are called to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. We will find all the wisdom and courage that we need to stand for Christ in the context of the church community.

I still struggle with how to do this well. But Satan loves nothing more than isolating Christians and figuring out how to tear them down outside of community. Don’t let him.

Acknowledge the church community as the blessing that it is. Embrace it. Find courage, wisdom, support, purpose, hope, joy, and so much more in the bride of Christ.

We weren’t made to be alone.

In His Name,

Nate Roach

I appreciate any and all feedback, and you can follow my blog via the menu!

Mr. Resolution

This year I will run a half-marathon. This year I will eat healthier. This year I will read the Bible twice. This year I will find financially stable and healthy practices of spending. This year I will write a letter to relatives I don’t live near at least once a month. This year I will become a solid basketball player.

These are just some of the resolutions I’ve made in the past at the start of a new year. As of the most recent years, they’ve become more and more spiritually focused. I’ll be acutely aware of my failings in certain aspects of my walk with Christ and I’ll make bold declarations of commitment to different spiritual disciplines. I’m going to read the Bible multiple times in a year, or memorize a lot of Scripture, or pray this much each day or wake up super early to spend tons of time in my room with the Lord. All of these aren’t inherently bad things, but they never last a month, much less a week. More often than not it’s because I’m trying to change my life in my own strength. More often than not it’s because I want to reverse or change something I don’t like about my past year and I think if I just try harder and be more committed that good will come of it.

Is this inherently wrong?

No.

Does it produce greater godliness in my life?

No.

So this year I don’t want to make any promises to the Lord and myself that I can’t keep. This year I don’t want to make any resolutions that shift all glory for the completion of such a resolution on my shoulders. I want to fall more in love with the Lord this year and let that be what drives me to greater obedience and commitment to the Lord.

resolution

2016 has had some huge highs and deep lows. I graduated college, started my first job in vocational Christian ministry, and fell in love with a wonderful godly woman named Jamie. Yet I wrestled with fear and doubt when life was hard. I had my first holiday season away from home. My grandfather passed away. Familial difficulties arose. My car broke down shortly after moving out to Phoenix. Yet one consistent aspect of my life has been God’s faithfulness to me. In the middle of me questioning His goodness, in the middle of me doubting His care, He was faithful and constant in His care and provision for me. That makes me desire a deeper commitment to Him. But that won’t come through me simply resolving to be better in discipline.

Let’s say I committed to reading the Bible through this year. I could successfully do that and still miss out on growing in my relationship with Him if it became simply a checklist requirement for the day. I don’t want that. I would much rather resolve to do that which deepens my love for Him. Daily Bible reading is certainly an avenue for that, but that won’t come from obligatory self-condemnation when I miss a day. It is a subtle and insidious lie that can so easily happen. I can resolve to better walk in spiritual disciplines and make the glory go to me.

Here’s the bottom line. The Christian life, the church, our faith are not about us, they’re about him – his plan, his kingdom, his glory. – Paul David Tripp

Peter was a flop of a disciple at times. That’s why he’s my favorite, he’s relateable to my sometimes inconsistent heart. One minute he was proclaiming that he loved Jesus more than anything and the next he was denying that he even knew Him. If anyone felt the pressure to resolve to be a better follower of Christ, I bet it was him. Yet after Christ’s resurrection, Jesus wasn’t concerned with Peter’s desire to commit to be better. He was concerned with Peter’s love for Him.

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” – John 21:15

Jesus did implore Peter to do the work of Christ in the world by shepherding and caring for the people of God. But this was preceded by the question of whether or not Peter loved Him.

If your resolve to obey God last year did not help you to be faithful, it will not make you successful this year. Jesus asks for your love. If you truly love Him, your service for Him in the new year will be of the quality that He desires. – Henry Blackaby

I resolved to be as perfect as I could last year in faith and trust. Yet I came up short many a time. I’ve learned that not only is there grace for that, but that God is first calling me into a loving relationship with Him, and that out of this love I will grow in myself a desire to walk out His ways in the world this coming year.

So as we launch into 2017, fall more in love with Jesus. Jesus knows that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments out of that love for Him.

If you love me, you will keep my commandments. – John 14:15

That’s my hope and prayer for this upcoming year. I want to fall more in love with Christ. I want to trust Him in the chaos. I want to believe Him in the midst of doubt. I want to worship Him in light of all that He is and all that He’s done. There’s a lot of uncertainty ahead but I know that my God is faithful.

I want to fall more in love with Jesus.

And maybe, just maybe, I’ll eat some more vegetables along the way.

In His Name,

Nate Roach

I appreciate any and all feedback, and you can follow my blog via the menu.