Kingdom Resolutions

As followers of Jesus, we continually examine the rhythms of our lives and make adjustments so that we are living as good ambassadors of his Kingdom.  As you think about changes you want to see in your life this year, take time to run them through the Salt and Light filter of Matthew 5.  


“You are the SALT of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? 

You can’t see flavor. It’s a quality that you can’t necessarily put your finger on but when you taste it you know right away if it’s good or bad. Your life has a flavor. It comes across in your attitude, your words, your gossip, your questions, where you take conversations, how you treat people, what you say about people when they are not around, etc.  All of that stuff adds up to your own individual flavor profile. And that flavor is hard to fake. The best way to bring the true flavor of the Kingdom to your neighborhood is for you to spend time with the King so that he can change you from the inside out.  


“You are the LIGHT of the world…let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Can you imagine living in a world with no light?  That would mean a lot of stubbed toes…and worse.    The actions of your life give off a glow.  Things like selfishness and greed and isolation are from the dark side.  Kingdom behaviors like hospitality, sharing and generosity bring light.  They show people what life in the Kingdom with Jesus really looks like.  

 Here are two questions for you to ponder as you plan the start of the New Year: 

  1.  What flavor will my life add to the neighborhood this month?
  2.  What glow will my actions give off in the neighborhood this month?

Kick these questions around for a little while.  Ask the Holy Spirit to give you two specific steps to take in January to help you live as Salt and Light in your neighborhood.  Looking forward to a great 2023 with you,

O’ Little Town of Bethlehem

DAY 25

Read and/or sing “praise to our God the King”
together, celebrating our Lord and Savior’s birth!

O’ Little Town of Bethlehem

O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie.
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light.
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.

For Christ is born of Mary,
And, gathered all above
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wond’ring love.
O morning stars, together
Proclaim the holy birth,
And praises sing to God the King,
And peace to men on earth.

How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is giv’n!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of his heav’n.
No ear may hear his coming;
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him, still
The dear Christ enters in.


Day 24| Jon Laughinghouse
Matthew 1: 18-25


Joseph was perplexed. The plans he had made seemed to
be unraveling with the unexpected news that Mary was
pregnant. Even more puzzling, an angel told him that the
child had been conceived supernaturally by the Holy
Spirit. God’s purpose in this miracle was revealed by these
words from the angel, “She will bear a son, and you shall
call his name Jesus for he will save his people from their

On Christmas Eve, let’s remember and cherish the mystery
of Christ’s birth. This miraculous conception meant that
Jesus, while still God, took on human nature and remained
pure from the curse of sin that plagues mankind. Why? So
that he would be a suitable, substitutionary sacrifice. So
that he could save his people from their sins.

Let’s also remember and treasure the cross for it is there
where our promised salvation was secured. While Jesus
was on the cross, the chief priest and scribes mocked him
saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself!” (Matt.
27) They failed to realize that this was the very moment for
which he had been born. He was saving his people from
their sins!

Joseph’s plans were changed but God’s sovereign
purpose remained. Thank you Lord for saving us. Thank
you for Jesus!

Day 23 | John Black

Day 23 | John Black
2 Corinthians 5: 17-21

Although we do not yet inhabit the new heavens and new
earth of Revelation 21, God’s people can still be
encouraged today as the apostle Paul encouraged the
Corinthians when he penned this letter. During the season
of Christmas, we celebrate the fact that Jesus HAS come
and has ALREADY begun making things new! Notice that
Paul didn’t say “If anyone is in in Christ, he will be a new
creation… so hang tight until Jesus returns.” Rather, the
truth is that if anyone is CURRENTLY in Christ, he IS a new
creation (2 Cor. 5:17) and can in this moment experience
“newness of life” (Rom. 6:4)!

As one responds faithfully to the call of Christ and receives
his “Spirit as a guarantee,” (2 Cor. 5:5), that person is
immediately given a new identity, and it is completely
undeserved. In union with Christ, our sin is not counted
against us (2 Cor. 5:19) because Jesus took that sin on
himself as he bore the wrath of God for our sin on the
cross. Paul stated that in Jesus, God has ALREADY
reconciled his people to himself (2 Cor. 5:18)!

Now, as we consider all that we have gained from the
accomplishments of Christ, we should have peace. We
should have joy. We should have love for Jesus. We
should have hope. But as a result of all of that, we should
also embrace the purpose to which we have been called!
After freeing us from sin’s condemnation, he gave us a
ministry to participate in (2 Cor. 5:18). Jesus didn’t
become sin for us so that we can remain as we are and
do as we will, but that “we might become the
righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21)!
Jesus took the punishment for our sin in order that we
would actively enjoy using his gifts as his ambassadors in
this world. We get to represent him to those who are
without hope. We get to extend the loving hand of Christ
in offering reconciliation to those who are unable to
escape sin’s devastating grip. Not only that, as we walk in
the footsteps of our Savior, he continues to transform us so
that when the day comes that we are face-to-face, we
will resemble him more than the day we first met him. In
that moment of embrace, we will get to hear him say, “I
love you, beautiful child. This is why I came.”

Day 22 | Zach & Megan Quest

Day 22 | Zach & Megan Quest
Ephesians 1:16-23

Imagine the joy and hope Paul must have felt as he
reflected and wrote to the church in Ephesus. Just years
before, he had planted the church (Acts 18:19) and spent
several years teaching (Acts 19:8-10); now it was thriving.
Paul’s message to the Ephesians is not just of praise, but of
continual loving guidance. He wishes for them to know the
hope to which Christ called them – to know the riches and
glorious inheritance his holy people would one day obtain,
and lastly to know the power we possess as believers in
Christ. He reminds the Ephesians that the same power that
resurrected Jesus lives within them…. and us!
His words are simple, yet profound. They are also
easy to say, but easy to forget. In a world that convinces us
we need more power, more strength, more of everything –
this is a reminder that we have everything we need living
within us through Christ.
Our prayer for you all this season is the same prayer

Paul had for the Ephesians: that you would feel the life-
changing hope we are promised as believers, and the
power that exists within us through Christ. Whatever this sea
son looks like for you, know that no season, feeling, or
moment lasts in comparison to the eternal gift we have
waiting for us.

The Greatest Christmas Gift

Day 21 | Allen Steele
Galatians 1: 3-5

The Greatest Christmas Gift

The blessings grace and peace came from God the Father
– who willed to give us his son; and from the Son – who
willingly gave himself for us. He gave himself from the
cradle to the cross.

He gave himself in heaven. He did not hoard the glory he
shared with the Father as something to be forcefully
defended. Rather, he humbled himself, taking on the form
of the lowly baby lying in a manger.

At Gethsemane he gave himself in obedience. He
steadfastly prayed, and chose, not his own will, but the
father’s… by this will, we are sanctified through the offering
of the body of Jesus Christ.

Jesus gave himself for our sin on the cross that he might
deliver us from this present evil world. Indeed, He has
accomplished His mission. The angels gave glory to God.
May that song – Christ’s willing, humble, sacrificial life –
resonate in us forever and ever.