New Year’s resolutions are lauded by some and belittled by many. But for me?…I like them. I love new beginnings, starting afresh. I feel like the new year brings in a time to look toward the future.
In 2014 I decided to start reading through the Bible again. But instead of reading to learn or to study for something specific, I decided to read to simply see God. I spend time with the Lord every morning, before anything else. Before I read, I ask God to let me see Him in what I’m reading. It has expanded to a prayer of allowing me to see Him in everything in my day and life.
It has been a year of growth for me..in my heart and soul. And I want it to continue.
From the time spent with the Lord I have learned some things about myself that I want to continue and expand on for 2015. Here are a few, maybe you can see yourself in some of it also: (and be sure to see the last one, as that is what it’s all about.)
1) Realize my worth in Christ. (I Peter 1:18-21) This is where it all begins and ends. From the creation of the world…to my creation by a Loving Heavenly Father…to what Jesus did on the cross – God had me in mind. And you. If I can grasp a fraction more of that, I will be further on the path to wholeness.
2) Stop blaming myself. (Philippians 3:7-11) I have a long history of beating myself up. When something goes wrong I blame myself. Constantly I ask myself what I could have done differently or better. I know the experts say this is a form of selfishness, but many of those of us who lean this way don’t see it that way. I obsessively wonder: How I can love better and more? Can I change something in my life to better the given situation? How I can allow God to change me to be more like Him. While it’s good that we are examining ourselves before God’s righteous throne, the enemy takes all things good and corrupts them. And he has done this with me…long enough. He has used what was meant to be good and beat me up. And I have allowed him. No more. While I will continue to evaluate myself by God’s standards, I want to drop the polluted criterion of others.
3) Realize that I am a loving, kind, caring person and if people don’t like me…well, it’s their problem. (Romans 14:4) Doesn’t that sound pretty narcissistic? I contend it’s not. Again, satan has battered me with a distorted view of myself. And it has led me to the sin of being more concerned about what others think of me than I am of what God thinks. I have no intentions of using this as a license to abuse anyone, but it’s time I saw myself through God’s eyes, rather than the Liar’s.
4) Realize a) God has forgiven me and b) I need to forgive myself. (Romans 3:23) Yes, I make mistakes…sometimes big ones. But we all do. We all sin, we all have fallen short of the glory of God. I tend to ruminate on all I do wrong. This simply flies in the face of what God has done for me on the cross. I am saying, “that is not enough.” And that is wrong. I want to allow myself more grace….knowing that TRUE grace (Titus 2:11-14) will lead me to a more holy life in Christ. And this is what I long for.
5) Understand that ALL of these concepts will enable me to receive and give grace, and love God and others more. (Romans 12:9-21) Paul tells us over and over that our ultimate goal should be love. It doesn’t matter what we DO for Christ, if we don’t love. Wrapped up in that has to be grace, because it can be difficult to love some people. But when we understand what God has done for us and who we are in Him, it frees us to love unconditionally. If we can’t do that, then we don’t understand it ourselves.
7) LAST BUT NOT LEAST… ALL things for the glory of God. (1 Timothy 1:15-17) – “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”