Summary: God loves you and wants to see you thriving and flourishing as a follower of Jesus! He goes to great lengths to keep us growing and moving forward in our faith.

Heart, Home, and Hands

Intro: As we get ready for the year 2014 to move on in, this is a good time to stop and reflect on where we’ve been, where we are, and where we might be headed. I’m not sure that you need to make a whole list of unrealistic goals for the new year, just to forget about them after a week of two. However, if we never take the time to stop and reflect and ask God to give us a thorough spiritual checkup, then we might just keep on doing what we’ve been doing, regardless of results. Some people say if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I say, if it ain’t working, then try something else! Just because you haven’t seized up your engine yet doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put fresh oil in it. Just because your car still starts doesn’t mean you shouldn’t change filters, plugs and wires every once in a while.

-So maybe today is a day in your life that calls for some routine maintenance. Or maybe you need a complete overhaul, rebuild, or engine replacement. Whatever the case, let me remind you that God loves you and wants to see you thriving and flourishing as a follower of Jesus! He goes to great lengths to keep us growing and moving forward in our faith. We tend to settle in and coast spiritually. God wants us to be filled with His life and passionate about serving Him.

-So let’s look at some areas of our lives that will hopefully help us think about what might need to change in the coming days.

1. God cares for you!

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

-No matter what you are going through, and no matter how badly you think you are failing, God invites you to cast your cares, concerns, and worries on Him because He cares for you. The visual image behind this phrase is that of rolling a heavy load off of your back onto someone else’s back. God can handle your baggage! God can handle your issues. They are not too heavy for Him to carry, but they are too heavy for you to carry alone.

-Jesus offers us rest. I believe it is a spiritual rest, but it is also an emotional rest. We can get ourselves so worked up over problems, and even over things that may never happen! God cares for us, but we need to come to Him to find the rest we need.

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

2. God cares about who you are

-It is true that God accepts us just the way we are. When we come to Him we don’t have to pretend that we are something more than we are. In fact, it would be an insult to be anything less than honest with the One who knows us completely and loves us completely. Being dishonest with God is the same as reducing Him to human status. We can deceive other people, but God doesn’t buy it! He sees right through us, and He loves us anyway! God cares that you are hurting and broken and incomplete. He cares that you are insecure and needy. He cares about the real you – the you that has nothing to offer an infinite almighty God! His care for you has nothing to do with how great you are! It has everything to do with how great He is!

-We might also say that God not only cares about who you are, but He cares about who you are becoming. He knows the stuff you’re made of because He made you! And here’s what He has to say about you!

2 Corinthians 5:17 …if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

John 1:12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—

-God knows what you were…

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

-God cares about who you are, and when you call on Him in faith, He changes you into His very own son or daughter. If you’ve invited Jesus to lead your life and forgive your sins, you are no longer who you used to be! If you haven’t done that yet, God will do the same for you!

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