HAPPY NEW YEAR!! It’s now 2020.
Let’s start the new year with the typical “resolutions”:
- Lose weight
- Eat better
- More rest
- Quit smoking
- Spend more time with family and friends, less at job
- Go on that special trip
- Finish that special project
- Get the best sales, highest marks, top time, championship trophy
The common element is that we want to BE better. To accomplish this, we then try to DO better. So, we work very hard, put in a lot of effort, invest a tremendous amount of time and even money. But we fail. Why? Because DOING is not equal to BEING. Ultimately, we DO according to WHO WE ARE.
To DO better in life, we must BE better
Again, we fail. By nature, we don’t have what it takes to BE or DO better:
All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who
does good, not even one. (Romans 3:12 (NIV2011))
We get all guilty feeling about this spiritual condition and so we try to fix it:
- Go to a counsellor
- Read self-help books
- Cut cable and internet
- Force ourselves to go to church, read the Bible, pray, give and volunteer
These things are good, but if it is only us, what is the result of all this hard work? Failure. What is the deal?
1. We’re spiritually bankrupt. It’s like being deep in debt with no savings or income. Then we try to pay off that loan with credit cards and payday loans. We need someone with enough spiritual resources to resolve our issues.
2. We’re trying to deal with an internal issue with inadequate external resources. We need someone with expertise in truly solving internal issues.
3. We place responsibility on people and things who are not us, nor are they able to help us. We need to take responsibility by placing all our faith and trust in someone who can help us.
2 Peter 1:3 (NIV2011) His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
Do you want a godly life? God’s power is enough. He has given us EVERYTHING we need for a truly godly life.
Peter 1:4 (NIV 2011) Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
Want to escape corruption and evil desires? God’s divine power. Which then lets us participate in the divine nature, thus defeating our human nature.
This power from God is given to us as a gift. A gift that was made effective by the death and resurrection of Jesus:
Romans 3:21-24 (NIV2011)
But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
KEY TO “BE”: GOD’S GRACE
One of the central concepts of the Scriptures, grace speaks of God’s loving actions toward creation and toward humankind in particular. Grace is the generous overflow of the love of God the Father toward the Son, Jesus Christ. This love is most clearly demonstrated to humans through God’s selfless giving of Jesus to enable people to enter into a loving relationship with God as the Holy Spirit enables them. (Source: Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms.)
All of this comes from God because of His love and mercy. It is a free gift.