"When they had eaten breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, 'Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?" John 21:15...."Jesus does not need your resolutions, your recommitments, or your promises to try harder 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 He desires."

Someone said that we constantly make resolutions but never resolve anything. We can be aware of our failings, at least vaguely, and we can resolve to do better, and even do so for a time. But it isn't very long before we fall back into the old patterns and habits. Where we fall captive to the same taskmasters, idols, and gods. We turn over a new leaf, only to have it soon join all the other turned over leaves in our "backyard." We make some surface "changes" but remain the same, unchanged, in our inner lives. We settle for spiritual mediocrity. Jesus called this being "lukewarm." Francis Chan said that a lukewarm Christian is an "oxymoron." How can one be a "little Christ" and yet be indifferent to the very life that is Christ? Somehow, we find this acceptable, and we continue on this road year after year. We make resolutions that make us feel like we are committed to victory, to transformation, and then deceive ourselves into thinking change has come, when nothing has changed at all. We may identify and admit to our need, but unless we surrender it all to Him and His transforming grace, nothing changes, and we continue of the road of spiritual sloth.

We live in a culture obsessed with the self life. We spend huge amounts of time concerned about what is going on with us. At the same time, we know little of what would be called "soul searching," an introspection that comes from placing ourselves before Him and allowing Him to search out our hearts, and all the motives and ways that can lie hidden there. That can be a painful process. Healing and change always is. Yet it is the only way to true resolution of our need, to real change and transformation. Most of us don't want to go there, so instead, we vow to do better, work harder, try more this time around. And another year goes by, and faced with the lack of real transformation in our walk, do it all over again.

How much of what you "resolved" to address last year, remains to be addressed this year? Are all the stumbling blocks that were there then, still there now? Are you still falling prey to the same snares and traps now that you were then? What will you do with it? Will there be a new list of resolutions, or new you as a result of His transforming grace? We all have "stuff" that needs that grace. Will it once again be the same stuff as before, or, do we allow Him to take us deeper into Himself in this unending journey of transformation? Jesus' question to Simon cut to the very center of his need and problem. And as He ministered to him there, Simon was changed into Peter. He'll do the same with you and me. It will cut to the quick, but wholeness and victory will be the end of it. Or, we can just make a new list of resolutions.

Pastor O

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   May 2019   
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