From time to time, I like to read my older journals and writings. I had several devotions and bible studies online before I switched over to this new blog format. My goal last summer was to re-publish them, but I got off track. That’s not hard for me to do. LOL!
Earlier today, I talked to a dear friend and mentor. She brought up my blog. I want to thank her for reminding me, I really need to get back to writing. Now with the new year in swing, there are some writing projects “speaking” to me that I must pursue. I plan to post a devotion or a bible study from my “classic” collection each Sunday. This devotion was originally written in 2000, but has been modified a bit. Enjoy!
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! — 2 Corinthians 5:17
At the beginning of a new year, many individuals spend time creating New Year’s resolutions. Did you make one (or a few)? How are you doing?
Resolutions are goals that we hope to have accomplished by this time next year. Your list may have brand new resolutions or the same resolutions from preceding years. Resolutions vary and a typical list may be like the one below:
- Lose weight
- Quit smoking
- Find a new job
- Get rid of credit card debt
- Reconcile relationships
- Practice patience (especially while driving – 9 years later, this is still an issue for me.)
The prospects of starting fresh is exciting. Unfortunately, for many, resolutions usually fade not too long after January 1st. That’s mainly because those lists often bear a strong resemblance to our childhood Christmas wish lists.
The Webster Dictionary defines a wish as a desire, longing or strong inclination for a specific thing. The dictionary defines a resolution as a firm decision to take a course of action. Two very different meanings.
The problem is we don’t take the time to differentiate between the "desire" and the "decision." If we want to break a bad habit or form a new attitude, we must get past the "I wish I could…" stage.
Paul wrote in Philippians 4:6, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." When we create a resolution it is easy to become overwhelmed when life takes over. Instead of making a flimsy wish, go to God in prayer and ask Him for the strength to carry out your goals.
We might think our will is strong enough to conquer the world, but in fact we are flesh. Our flesh will get tired and frustrated, eventually just giving up. Why? Because it’s easier sometimes.
To truly carry out goals or plans of action, we need a fresh dose of God’s anointing power. He has given to those who believe, the Holy Spirit to be right there when you are struggling, procrastinating or on the brink of giving up completely.
So, whatever you have decided to pursue this year. Stand strong, not on your own strength, but God’s. "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
In fact, the most important decision you can make for the new year is to:
- Begin a relationship with God OR
- Renew your relationship with God
A relationship with the Lord through His Son Jesus, will enable you to get through those discouraging moments during the year. Through your intimate conversations with him, God will remind you that you are developing into a new creature each day.