Greetings In the Name of the Lord:
1 Timothy 4:7-9
New Living Translation (NLT)
7 Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. 8 “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” 9 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it.
Every year we vow, as well we should, to be more consistent in our devotional life. Unfortunately, it usually last a month or two and then we let it fall by the wayside. In regards to this, I recently found something about Jonathan Edwards, the great revivalist preacher who fostered the First Great Awakening in America back in the 18th Century. Here is what Jan Brown had to say about Edwards. “Jonathan Edwards, the 18th-century revivalist, sat down at age 17 and penned 21 resolutions by which he would live his life. Throughout his lifetime he would add to this list until, by his death, he had 70 resolutions.
He put at the top of his list: “Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly entreat Him by His grace to enable me to keep these Resolutions…. Remember to read over these Resolutions once a week.”
Edwards didn’t casually make New Year’s resolutions with an expectation of eventually breaking them. Each week he did a “self-check.” He regularly summed up how he was doing and sought God’s help in the process.
Christ calls us to commit to actively work at becoming conformed to His image. This coming year resolve to be come a person committed to a godly transformation. If you faithfully do this, you will see your life begin to focus on the spiritual rather than on the passing, material world” (Jan Brown in ChristianityToday.com., http://www.christianitytoday.
What do you have planned for this year? What self-check are you going to use? Here are some options:
Greetings In the Name of the Lord:
Isaiah 9:1-2, 6-7 (NLT)
1 Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory. 2 The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine…6 For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!
Earlier this week Pastor Rick Warren tweeted that with the devastation of Hurricane Sandy and the tragedy at Sandy Creek Elementary School that America really needed the hope of Christmas. There can be no doubt that Pastor Rick’s words ring incredibly true. In fact, Christmas is all about hope. First, we should recognize that without Christmas there is no hope. Christmas is all about Jesus coming to do something for us that we could not do for ourselves; pay the penalty for our sins. Second, Christmas is about new hope. Matthew’s gospel tells us, “And his name will be the hope of all the world” (Matt.12:21, NLT). Jesus brings us a hope we didn’t have before, and hope that we can be confident in for the future. Remember that hope that we think of today is more like wishful thinking, like, “I hope so.” However, the hope that the Bible talks about is a hope that is certain. In fact, it is so certain that it is as if it has already happened. This is the hope that Jesus brings to us. The events of the last couple of months have left our nation looking for hope, and we can only find that hope in Jesus.