Happy new year family and friends! I don’t know about you but, honestly, I get pretty excited about January 1st. Heck I get excited about the beginning of a new week or a new day!
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”” Lamentations 3:23-24
I am so grateful for grace, forgiveness, and fresh starts. It is because of our Lord, Jesus Christ, that we can be a new creation, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:24) The start of a new year is not the only time we should be evaluating our life and relationship with Christ, sanctification is ongoing. Having said that, it is a new year…. Why not take the opportunity to ask our Heavenly Father to reveal areas where we can grow closer to Him and His likeness? I like how in the book How People Change they write, “He (God) calls us to wrestle, meditate, examine, fight, run, persevere, confess, resist, submit, follow, and pray until we have been transformed into his likeness.”
Now those are some good words! 😉
My friend Jessika from The Knight Five blog approaches the New Year with a word instead of a resolution. I like this concept because it’s simple. This is the first year I have decided to pick one word and as simple as it seems it’s quite difficult! Jessika’s word for this year is intentional. And just in her choosing that word challenged me even more to pray and ask God “What is a word you would have me meditate on throughout this year?”
As I began skimming through my mental dictionary God gave me one pretty quickly. I was hesitant though. In fact, I think I cringed a little and didn’t want to admit that my initial response is EXACTLY why God put this word on my mind. This morning as I prayed and went about my day the Lord sought to make himself REAL clear with the scripture he brought to my attention.
Philippians 1:27-28 “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you.”
To further affirm me of the word laid on my heart our pastor quoted another verse from Philippians.
Philippians 2:12-13 “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed- not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence- continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and act according to his good purpose.”
My word is obedience.
Obviously I know that as a Christian it is imperative that I live in obedience to God. I am human though and there is ALWAYS going to be room for improvement. The choices I make are supposed to reflect my surrender to Christ. Unfortunately not every act or choice does. It’s tempting to excuse or justify “small” areas of disobedience and act like in the big scheme of things it doesn’t matter or even tell myself it’s NOT disobedience. Especially if no one sees or no one knows. If it is only my husband and children that are exposed to my disobedience than I can easily blow it off and be unaccountable and unchallenged. Satan is the master of subtleties. We are told in 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 “Everything is permissible”-but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”- but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good but the good of others.”
I think the reason God brought this word to me is because obedience is all about trust. I tend to limit obedience to following a set of rules. God wants me to understand that when I obey him it conveys that I trust him over anything else and I believe he loves me deeply. I have a lot to learn this year in regards to obedience!
Do you have a word, goal, or resolution for 2015? 🙂