New Year Ramblings

Happy New Year!

I’ve had a couple of things running around in my head for the last week or so.  At first I was going to post about them separately, but the more I think about it, the more I think they’re related.  So pardon me if you get confused… by the end you should (hopefully) get it!

The first:

Last weekend our Pastor said something in his sermon that really hit me.  He was talking about sharing our life with Christ with other people.  He said that sometimes we get nervous because we are afraid the person will ask us a question to which we don’t know the answer (totally me!).  He said, however, that Christ doesn’t expect us or want us to share what we don’t know – he wants us to share what we do know. 

It sounds kind of silly when I read it – like, of course that’s true.  But it’s the first time I’d ever really thought about it that way.  And it impacted me profoundly.  All Christ expects of me in the way of evangelism is to share how He has changed my life.  Simple. 

So that whole thing got me thinking about how awesome our church is and how much I love being challenged, nearly every week, with something that brings me closer to Christ.  And isn’t that what God wants?  God sent His only Son, Christ, to be with us (Immanuel = God with us) and to save us from our sins by dying on the cross.  Hey, if you go to a church that isn’t preaching those basics or isn’t challenging you to become more like Christ by getting closer to Him, then you need to find one that does!

And second:

This is the time of year for resolutions.  For changes.  For re-assessing and planning for the coming year.  I’ve written about what Dave and I do in a past post here.  So on New Year’s day, we sat down and listed our goals for 2009.  It occurred to me that resolutions or goals are about self-control.  Either controlling yourself to stop doing something, or disciplining yourself to use your energy in a more positive way.  I have issues with self-control and I posted about it last year here.  Sometimes I feel like having self-control in all areas of my life is like trying to put an octopus in a box – I think I’ve got everything in the box, then I realize two of the tentacles are waving wildly behind me.  My goals for 2009 are the usual – lose weight, re-do our budget and stick to it, stick with weekly devotions with the kids, and so on.  Anyways, I was looking up verses in the Bible about self-control.  I read a very familiar verse – Romans 12:1-2.  “Therefore I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

It hit me that the self-control also comes back to getting closer to Christ.  Offering my body as a living sacrifice to Him.  Letting Him control me and not so much ME controlling me. 

So I am beginning this New Year with a new perspective.  My New Year’s resolution is this:  do what I can to get closer to Christ.  When I put him first, the other things should fall into place.

What are your New Year’s Resolutions?

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