"the old has passed away"
2 Corinthians 5:17
The New Year is coming.
Are you ready?
I'm not really a believer in New Year's Resolutions, per se. I think we should be continuously working to make ourselves better, which means at the start of a new year, or a new season, or a new week or a new day.
But let's go ahead and get on the cultural bandwagon here. Let's pretend that in a few days we should begin making an effort to improve ourselves.
So, in what area of your life do you have responsibility? In your home? In your job? In your ministry? Maybe all of the above. I know in the case of the Apple of my Eye, he has responsibilities in every area of his life. I'm so impressed with all God has entrusted to him. He takes care of our family, of course, and has responsibilities at his job. But he also teaches Bible to high school and junior high students, is a leader at our church, and helps coach baseball.
For each of us, there is some way in which we are "above" someone else. At least, as the world defines "above". Jesus would call it "under". Mark 9:35 says that to be first is to be last, and the servant of all.
There's a verse in 1 Chronicles that I love, that speaks to the idea of being given responsibility. 14:2 says: "David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel and that his kingdom had been highly exalted for the sake of his people Israel."
This verse gives us three important facts:
1. David had faith that his position as king over Israel was from the Lord.
2. This kingdom had been highly exalted ~ lifted up, honored ~ and he was king over this highly exalted kingdom.
3. The kingdom of Israel was highly exalted, for the sake of the people of Israel. And that, had nothing to do with David.
To have responsibility is to be established by the Lord. And it means you're a servant of others. God desires for His children to be led, taught, encouraged and exhorted, and we are the instruments He uses. Each of us has been gifted in some way, with the ability to care and love as the Shepherd does, or with the ability to teach, or with the ability to organize, or any number of other talents.
Fortunately, the God we serve does not have an attitude of: "There. I gave you what you need, now go to it." No, He makes us this promise: "... the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."
He will ask you to do nothing for which the Holy Spirit is not with you. The Holy Spirit is with you in your home, in the classroom, in the workplace, in the meeting room and in the dugout. He is the energy, the wisdom, and the patience needed to serve, even when it's hard.
The Holy Spirit is also in our prayers. The more we try to do, the more we must communicate with Him whom we serve. Our prayers must be frequent, sincere, and thorough.
The Holy Spirit is also in God's Word. Be in His Word daily. The Holy Spirit will bring to your remembrance everything God has said to you in His Word, but you can't remember something you haven't learned.
Now, you can respond to His call to serve, and then decide to fly solo, but it's going to be harder on you, and you'll be less effective in your efforts. The saying goes, "It's lonely at the top". But it doesn't have to be.
Perhaps our New Year's resolutions shouldn't be about strengthening some weakness in ourselves, but about strengthening ourselves in Him.
~ "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,
he is a new creation.
The old has passed away;
behold, the new has come." ~
2 Corinthians 5:17