Wednesday, January 1, 2020

No Resolution for Me

So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?”John 21:15 

Jesus has a wonderful way of restoring us when we fail Him! He does not humiliate us. He does not criticize us. He does not ask us to make a resolution to try harder. Rather, He takes us aside and asks us to reaffirm our love for Him. Peter miserably failed his Lord when he fled with the other disciples from the Garden of Gethsemane. Later, he publicly denied that he even knew Jesus. Peter must have wondered if he had been capable of being Jesus’disciple when he was unfaithful to Jesus in His most crucial hour. As you begin a new year, you may be painfully aware that you have failed your Lord in many ways. Perhaps you were not faithful. Perhaps you disobeyed His word to you. Perhaps you denied Him by the way you lived. Jesus will take you aside, as He did Peter. He will not berate you. He will not humiliate you. He will ask you to examine your love for Him. He asked Peter, “Do you love Me?”If your answer, like Peter's, is “Yes, Lord,”He will reaffirm His will for you. If you truly love Him, you will obey Him (John 14:15). Jesus does not need your resolutions, your recommitments, or your promises to try harder this year. If your resolve to obey God last year did not help you to be faithful, it will not make you successful this year. Jesus asks for your love. If you truly love Him, your service for Him in the new year will be of the quality that He desires. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

Resolutions, in reality, are where we make oaths to ourselves then shortly thereafter find that we have lied to ourselves. 

Our emotions always get the best of us.  They always do.  We have an inherent knowledge of right and wrong.  Of percieved justice.  This one deserves this, they don't deserve that.  Where does that come from?  Well we are born with that, right along with our sin nature, which twists and perverts it.

We are so much like Peter, James and John.  Everyone who will jump into the Judge's seat to bring down a gavel on someone else's life.  Peter was very impetuous.  James and John wanted to bring down fire from Heaven on people. 

What does all that have to do with resolutions?  They are places in life where we fail God and ourselves.  

Paul was tempted to lash out at others in every city he was at.  He was at each long enough to build relationships.  He admonished millions through his letters of the right behavior in Christ.  He himself was caught in incorrectly judging Mark.

Our attitude towards others always colors our thinking, and often not in a good way. 

I make one resolution every year.  Never to make any resolutions beyond that one. 

Nothing will weigh upon my conscience for doing something or not doing something.   

I create good habits and remove bad ones as I am enabled by God.  I look back on 2019 and see much that has been removed and much that has now come into play.   Like what?  It's not earthly stuff that I refer to.  It's my attitude adjustments.  My confidence levels.  It's what attitudes God has been adjusting in me. 

I was really hit between the eyes by one of those God411 video stories.  One where a woman who had been a prostitute, who was living a very sinful life, was saved.  Jesus came into her life and the change was profound.  She was growing in Christ.  Teaching etc.  In time she caught the eye of the Pastor's son.  They dated and later it was announced they were engaged.  The Church was in an uproar.  How could the son of the Pastor be engaged to such a woman!  There was a Church meeting over it.  Surprisingly it wasn't the Pastor who spoke up, but the Son. He saw the toll it was taking on his fiancee.  He stood up among them and got their attention.  His fiancee wasn't what was on trial here. But the blood of Jesus.  Whether or not it truly washed away sin or it didn't.  If Christ forgives and cleanses or it doesn't.  The Church wept and was ashamed. 

I looked at my own attitudes towards others after reading that.  There's those who love to misquote Scripture about judging others.  We are not to enter in condemnation on others.  We are indeed to make judgment calls on those we meet.  Jesus Himself said He didn't entrust Himself to man because He knew what was in the heart of man.  But He did make attempts to build relationships.  We are fruit inspectors.  Scripture says we will know others by their fruits, essentially their actions. 

This year I hope to continue what God's began in me from past years.  To grow to be more like Christ.  Letting go of my attitudes and feelings that are wrong at worst and misplaced at best. 

Paul angrily opposed taking Mark along on a missionary journey.  He later had huge regrets because he realized he was oh so wrong.  He obviously didn't see what God was doing in Mark.  I can be the same. 

The focus is on loving others where they are.   If they have changed so be it.  If they haven't, again, so be it.  Jesus still loved people who were in the wrong.  He admonished right behavior and moved on. 

I have been rightly accused of getting wrapped around the axle on problems and situations.  My anger at people has greatly waned.  After a semi truck ran a red light and hit my truck, my anger issues had a focus point.  For many months afterward I was not the best of drivers around other semi truck drivers.  My anger got the best of me.  My God took exception to this and there came a day when He said enough is enough.  My attitude adjustment came.  He died for them too.

So this year make no resolution other than to grow in Christ.  Ask Him more questions.  Stay in His Word.  Pray more often.  Remove idols from my heart and home.  Yes, that was a huge one from last year.   Removing idols.   Hey call a spade a spade.  If your passion and enthusiasm and energy are on anything other than a right relationship with Jesus then it's an idol.  For me it meant sports it meant movies it meant television.  Jesus is jealous for my heart.  My heart cannot be divided between Him and the Michigan Wolverines or the Pittsburgh Steelers or NASCAR or any television show or movie series.  And truth being what it is, Jesus showed me quite clearly those are idols.  
So I was made to choose.  He doesn't consider the negative bantering as 'just for fun'.  It goes against Scripture that says if what wr say and do doesn't build up and edify we shouldn't be focusing on it.  He that knows the good He ought to do and does not do it, sins.

As Blackaby points out in his January 1st entry, the love of God is to be paramount.  Next to nothing.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and Spirit. 


Does Jesus have your whole heart in 2020?  As Tobymac has in a song, "I just need you".  In Heaven all we have is Jesus.  There's a chorus we used to sing called "All in All". 

You are my strength when I am weak
You are the treasure that I seek
You are my all in all
Seeking You as a precious jewel
Lord to give up I'd be a fool
You are my all in all
Jesus Lamb of God worthy is Your name
Jesus Lamb of God worthy is Your name
Taking my sin my cross my shame
Rising again I bless your name
You are my all in all
When I fall down you pick me up
When I am dry You fill my cup
You are my all in all
Jesus Lamb of God worthy is Your name
Jesus Lamb of God worthy is Your name
Jesus Lamb of God worthy is Your name
Jesus Lamb of God worthy is Your name
Jesus Lamb of God worthy is Your name
Jesus Lamb of God worthy is Your name
Worthy is Your name
Worthy is Your name

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