Yes, a new year brings new beginnings, new goals, dreams, aspirations…
A new year brings resolutions, wiping the slate clean, starting over.
As Christ followers, our only resolution should be a resolve to follow Christ
In the way that our Father in Heaven designed for us..
Sure, we should make sure we don’t steal, lie, or kill.. covet or worship other gods..
But Jesus came “so that we may have life and life more abundantly” (John 10:10)
And how do we do that? By following the 2 greatest commandments, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22: 37-40)
“Mike, I know all of this.. why are you wasting your time? I have read the Bible front and back… I know this!”
God woke me up this morning with this thought. This burden. The only way I can explain it, is in context of the Bible.
Here goes. If you LOVE one another, you won’t steal from them, hate them, use them, or lie to them! If you LOVE God, you won’t upset Him by constantly living in sin, being a jerk, stealing from people, talking about them behind their back… you’ll stop trying to get people back…you know, get even! It’s the way of the world isn’t it?? Someone screws with us, we just gotta get even don’t we? Forget that mumbo jumbo about walking 2 miles if your brother wants you to go a mile with them… forget giving someone your coat when they ask for your jacket.. forget TURNING THE OTHER CHEEK!!
But Jesus most explicitly said, ““You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.”
Read Matthew 5.. This is where you will find this.. This is also where you will find Jesus naming off all the things that will bless us, like, Being poor in spirit, mourning, being meek, hunger and thirst for righteousness, being MERCIFUL, PURE IN HEART, PEACEMAKERS!!
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Then Jesus talked about being the “Salt and Light” (read my blog of the same title)
Being Salt to a nation, flavoring it… and being light to the world.
Jesus then went on to talk about Murder, divorce, adultery, oaths and finally the famous “eye for an eye”
This is what GOD woke me up with this morning…
Are we bringing God glory? Are we even attempting to do these 2 things… we live in this selfish and perverse world and we act just like them don’t we? We gotta keep up with our neighbor.. competing over who does better… What do we do to even set ourselves apart from this world?? Our acceptance shows conformance to a world that HATES US!!!
So, you call yourself a Christian, huh? Have you forgiven someone that has totally messed your world up this year…or ever? Have you loved someone even though they may not love you back? Have you helped someone do something even though they might have stolen from you?
Someone talked bad about you…and you got even with them didn’t you? You showed them didn’t you?? They messed you up bad, now you’re gonna “MAKE THEM PAY”
SO… you call yourself a Christian, huh?
Do you look at that homeless person and say “they deserve it”, or that one that doesn’t smell so good and say, “soap is cheap”, or the one that doesn’t dress nice and say, “This is a house of GOD!”
Yeah, I’ll bet… We can’t even stop judging can we?
Jesus came to give LIFE. HE came to FORGIVE. And YET, we CANNOT…WILL NOT forgive our friend, our spouse, brother or sister, mom..dad…family member. No, we spend YEARS AND YEARS not talking to them cause they did so and so…and such and such… UNFORGIVEABLE!!!!
So, you call your self a Christ follower? What if Jesus picked and chose what He wanted to forgive? We are called to FORGIVE AS HE FORGAVE!!!
If Jesus decided that liars, adulterers and divorcees would be the only ones going to hell..you would be scared to death wouldn’t you… and there would be a lot more people going to hell now wouldn’t there?
So… you call yourself a Christ follower?
Do you flavor your world with salt of Jesus? Do you emit JESUS’ light to the darkness? Do you forgive those that act poorly towards you? Do you love on people instead of trying to get even? Do you give from what you have abundance?
Yeah, me neither…
Act like it! Be Jesus to the dark world…hate and abhor evil.. do good to those that screw you over…BE LIKE HIM…HOLY, FULL OF LOVE…
As “Christ followers” we need to resolve everyday to “take up our cross and follow” HIM. DAILY!!!
Not just for a New Year’s resolution…but EVERYDAY!!