Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What's your take on New Years and on all the Resolutions that go along with it?

May I Say, Please Have a Happy, Way-Blessed, Really Wonderful New Year in 2014... I So Hope It's Your Best One Yet! Really Want That For You and Yours. 

Bein' raised for many years in what seemed to me (don't get me wrong or be offended at all..) to be a dead kinda church that simply refused to expositionally, verse by verse minister n teach through the Bible as God tells leaders and pastors to do.. I learned well the message of Religion which said… Be better, do better and you might earn the favor of God.

It's New Years Eve today, and I've got some minutes free just to jot down a few ideas that I hope will challenge and edifying you. I don't know what is going on over there in your hometown, but we have lots of Missouri Tigers in town this week (almost got run over by a bunch of them after practice ended – yup, there I was in the middle of em with all their big numbered jerseys on. Tall guys. Big, Running past me. Had to laugh. Felt like I was down close to the cars at a North Texas NASCAR race).  

I hope they win. Perhaps this is Coach Gary Pinkel's top wish or New Years Resolution. Dunno. Did get to chat with, n help him a pinch recently. Nice guy. Like me, you can just imagine how he must feel now and pre-kickoff. It's a big game here in the South. And besides him, you know that many others have made ..and will make New Years Resolutions today.

Want ya to know.. I personally like prayerful determination, Spirit-led-goal-setting, discipline and confidence, but because of my upbringing.. I just don't get so thrilled about resolutions or determination if they leave out full dependence on the God of the Bible, the Lord Jesus Christ. I figure if He ain't Lord of all, He ain't Lord at all…in my life.

But I so want Him to be. Let's let the Lord be the Lord today and every day.  

You know how.. many people today say that they for sure can pull it off, but how much of it can they? How can they alone.. pull it off ..that which is truly wonderful or really excellent?

Can you and i really pull off what's good or fruitful on our own? Personally, me likes to get some help with pullin' stuff off in the will of God. And I want to challenge you to do that as well regarding the will of God for you.

I never look down on people who make resolutions—they just want to do better. But the Bible doesn't really say that we believer should make resolutions at the beginning of a new year, but God does urge us to examine our lives regularly, and to seek the Lord's help in becoming and doing better for His glory.  

The Word of God admonishes us with this: "Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord" Lamentations 3:40.

Jesus in John 15:5 declares, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." 

Huh! You can do how much? Isn't it the Lord who gives us our next breath and the ability to breathe?

"Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit'— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.' As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin." James 4:13-17 

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want." Psalm 23:1 

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11 

It's of course good to plan, but know that God has the best plan. Now, juxtaposed to these words of truth above, and just for the fun of it.. let's check out some humorous New Years Resolutions that I know I can sure relate to..ones that make a good point. Perhaps you will enjoy them as well.  

2007: I will get my weight down below 180.
2008: I will watch my calories until I get below 190.
2009: I will strictly follow my new diet until I get below 200.
2010: I will try to develop a realistic attitude about my weight.
2011: I will work out five days a week.
2012: I will work out three days a week.
2013: I will try to drive past a gym at least once a week.

2007: I will not spend my money frivolously.
2008: I will pay off my bank loan promptly.
2009: I will pay off my bank loans promptly.
2010: I will begin making a strong effort to be out of debt by 2011.
2011: I will be totally out of debt by 2012.
2012: I will try to pay off the debt interest by 2013.
2013: I will try to be out of the country by 2014.

Funny huh. Our intentions can be good, but we can fail even after we give it our very best. Now here is a bit of what God says about confidence.

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13 esv

"For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." 2 Timothy 1:7 

"So we can confidently say, ''The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?" Hebrews 13:6 

"Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised." Hebrews 10:35-36

"In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." Proverbs 3:6 

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 

How do I want to encourage you .....you know, when it will seem like the whole world will be out there tonight partying their brains out? So many feel empty, guilty, afraid, forgotten, lonely, but tonight it will look like they all are having so much fun. Don't get me wrong, some indeed will be having fun. And some will be enjoying sin for a season, but it's so short-lived and the wages of it are death.

How? Well, I want to encourage you with these six things.. to (1.) Know God in a personal way and pray in faith to Him through Jesus His Son, asking for His kinda wisdom that's far superior, for His knowledge, His insight and His discernment (See James 1:5). And to (2.) Deny your fleshly nature and the world system that tells you to do what it tells you to do. Instead pray in the Spirit for the right application steps that come from the Word on how you will go about fulfilling the specific goals that the Lord gives to you regarding balance, His Great Commandment and Great Commission. Then (3.) Rely moment by moment on the Holy Spirit of God's to quicken, direct, anoint, strength, and help you pull it all off right ..in His perfect timing. Also (4.) Find a spiritual-minded, mature, born again accountability partner of the same gender who will listen to you, counsel perhaps, and even help to guide you with this good stuff. Please (5.) Don't become discouraged with yourself if there are occasional failures on your part. Just be quick to confess and repent if you sin, and then get back up again. Brush yourself off, and walk on with Jesus as Lord again avoiding places of temptation and people that love to fall into it. Never listen to the enemy Mr Lu-Cifer (the devil) or allow his loser-crowd (of fallen angels or even lost people who influence in a negative way). Don't let them point the finger to condemn you into quitting on the Lord. They like to push you to sin saying How will just a little bit hurt you? Come on, everyone is doing it…but then afterwards he likes to point his finger at you and say, Look at you hypocrite screw-up. You are such a shameful failure, so don't even call yourself a believer anymore and quit try to walk with God cuz you have proven that you can't do it. You've blow it too bad this time, and man, you call yourself a Christian do you? How totally lame you are.

No, just agree and say I can't do it ..on my own independantly, but I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me..all things that God wants and calls me to do  by His Spirit. Yes, just listen to God's Word and His Spirit - they always agree with each other. Then, (6.) Obey the Lord and never become proud over any victories, or rebellious against His delegated or direct authority. Don't let the Prideful one, Satan, get you all puffed up, self-confident or vain in your thinking, but resist hi and walk on in God's will and remember to give God the glory when He gives you success in any area, or uses you in any way.

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