There are many things that might lead us to be less than diligent instead of intentional about relationship with God. We experience exasperation. We are sidetracked by worldly concerns. We allow ourselves to become overloaded, even doing good sometimes. We can be misled by worldly propaganda and lies that cause discouragement and loss of enthusiasm. Even prosperity can lead to complacency.
Paul tells the Romans, and us, to endure and persevere; push beyond complacency as well as hardship. We need to stay focused, to stay in the word and prioritize with prayer and worship. We need to keep ourselves fueled and aflame. We need to examine ourselves, which is good advice for a new year. Examining can be like stoking or prodding a banked, quiet fire to renew the flame. Poking our own lives can renew our zeal, devotion and enthusiasm for our Christian walk and sharing the good news. We hopefully will find that enthusiasm leads to fulfillment!
Our Pastor continued his message on fasting and praying. He noted that habits can be good or bad, but they can still be and addiction. An addiction is “a recurring compulsion by an individual to engage in some specific activity”. A Christian can define this as any compulsion that pulls us away from our relationship with God. We are to “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:5. Or as Jesus notes in the new testament: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” We do not have to try in our own human strength as we now can turn our minds to that love and rely on the strength of Christ.
The church is full of former sinners. 2 Corinthians 5:17. We all need to bring our bodies and minds into subjection; to confess weakness and choose God. Only then can we be transformed by the good news (Grace) of Jesus Christ.
Here is a song I have loved for years and seemed good for a new year song.Verses for Today:
Romans 12:11-12 (NIV)
11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Lord – now, in this new year, (and always), help me stay focused on my relationship with You and sharing Your Love and good news to others.