Saturday, January 4, 2014

New Year's Resolutions

Many of us have a desire to change something about ourselves going into the New Year. We make resolutions that we feel are achievable in hopes that it will improve our lives. But all too often these goals are short lived. Here is a quote from Charles Stanley's Magazine:
  “Following a year of living in old familiar ruts, we welcome January with renewed hope for self-improvement. After carefully evaluating our lives and planning appropriate changes, we confidently make our New Year’s resolutions. Enthusiasm runs high for the first few weeks, but before long, our old habits beckon us to relax and slide down into those comfortable patterns. By February, most of us are right back where we started, wondering why we couldn’t stick with it.”
Doesn't it make sense as Christians to set resolutions that are God honoring and that make an impact for eternity? 
 In fact God's Word makes it clear what will last: If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” (Col. 3:1-4)
Here are 3 resolutions that will help us to pursue the things of God and make an impact on others:
1) Sanctification
2) Stewardship
3) Service 


            A noble, God honoring resolution would be to become more Christ-like.  Simply put, sanctification is a process whereby we become more holy and live like Christ. Our entire life is a process of sanctification.
1 Thess. 4:3, 7: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness.”
1 Thess. 5:23-24: “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.” 


-                        We need to consider how we use our resources and time wisely in 2014!!
Ephesians 5:15-17: “ Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

-          There are two options we have, we can be guided by “the clock” and react to external forces: My Goals, My Commitments, My Appointments, My Schedule, and My Activities.

-          Or we can be guided by the inner Compass of the Holy Spirit. What is God’s calling, God’s values, God’s mission, and God’s direction.  

-          Is your life managed by “the clock” rather than the “compass?” 

2 Timothy 2:3-7: Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.  Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules. The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops.  Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.”

Galatians 6:7-9: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.  For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.”


     What on earth are we doing for Heaven’s sake? Are we using our spiritual gifts to build the church? Are we sharing the Gospel with those around us?

Joshua 22:5:Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God and walk in all His ways and keep His commandments and hold fast to Him and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

Ephesians 2:10: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”

Titus 2:11-14: For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,  instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,  looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.”

If you asked the Lord how He plans to work in your life during 2014, what kind of New Year’s resolutions do you think He’d want you to make?

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” ( 1 Cor. 15:58)
In Christ -Dustin


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