by Shawn Brasseaux
Greetings, 2010 is finally here, and we are that much closer to the Lord’s return! Every New Year’s Day comes with New Year’s resolutions. Most resolutions are made in the hype of the New Year, but are never actually followed through for very long. Why? As a pastor once said, “humans are creatures of habit.” Just like religious tradition, bad habits are extremely difficult to abandon. Our sinful human nature inclines us to perform those bad habits, but according to the Bible, all hope is not lost….
Browsing in a bookstore the other day, I scanned the bookshelves in the “inspirational” literature section; books on becoming a better you, how to find true happiness, living your best life now, and the other titles that promote humanistic, new age teaching, and watered-down Scripture. Let me tell you bluntly that you have NO need for those books whatsoever, so do not waste your time or your money on them. How can we follow through with keeping that New Year’s resolution? Where can we find the strength needed to improve our lives? Certainly, that strength is not found in our flesh, dear brethren!
The key to living a godly respectable life is not found in you living per se, but rather CHRIST living in and through you! Most of the 6.7 billion people in our world are lost and unsaved, and have no idea of this concept; it is for this reason that they are unable to follow through with their resolution. They do not have the indwelling Holy Spirit on whom to depend, so their only option is to rely on the flesh, their own strength, which eventually gives in to going back on the resolution.
If you recall the “Grace Lifer,” “Reflection” and “Psukhē” series from last year, we discussed the power of the Holy Spirit inside the believer. Those of us who have trusted completely in Paul’s Gospel of Grace—Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection—have the indwelling Holy Spirit. Without the indwelling Holy Spirit guiding us, we have to admit that we would be nothing but Hell-bound sinners. As 2 Corinthians 4:7 says in the King James Bible, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” We are weak, but God is so much stronger than us.
I love Galatians 2:20 KJV: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Compare that with Romans 12:1,2 KJV: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Remember what the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6:12? “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient” (productive, beneficial). Whether to watch less television, spend less time online, study our Bibles more, eat healthier, exercise more, or the like, we can all make improvements in our lives. This past year, we have all made mistakes, so I hope you have learned from yours, as I have learned from mine. If you would take the next few moments to think about areas in your life that need correction, this is the first step in the right direction for 2010.
How could you better serve the Lord? Do you need to pray more and witness more often than you have been doing? Do you need to stop living a life of carnality (worldly, fleshly actions)? Set a reasonable goal. Start working on one bad habit, and then worry about the others. Tell yourself, “As a member of the Body of Christ, I can draw on the power of God Almighty. Romans 6:6-11 says that I am dead to self, dead to my old sin nature. I am alive unto God through Christ Jesus my Lord. The Lord is going to help me improve my life, so that I can better represent Him and bring Him more glory to His name.” Prayer and faith in God’s Word to you will help you live a life reflecting God’s grace and righteousness.
With Lord’s help, I hope to make some changes in my own life in 2010. I have some bad habits I need to quit. I need to be bolder in sharing the Word of God, and I am hoping to teach God’s Word to more people this coming year. (I see 2010 as a very exciting year at arC Ministries, as we are going to delve into interesting topics!!!!). If you remember what I said last weekend, as we get closer and closer to the rapture and the Tribulation, it will become more difficult to live for the Lord, but keep pressing toward that mark (Philippians 3:14)!
If you still have not trusted the Lord Jesus Christ for your salvation, I hope and pray that you will contact me. For those of you who have the assurance of salvation, I hope you will make an effort to be a better “ambassador for the risen Christ,” as I am going to do with the Lord’s strength. Certainly, I have no confidence in the flesh (Philippians 3:3)…. And I hope you do not either!
I wish you all the best this upcoming year!