Do not dwell on the past

January 2018

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See!  I am doing a new thing. -Isaiah 43:18-19

Happy New Year!

Are you a resolution maker? Not too many years ago I made a resolution to stop eating at my desk, but I also added ‘for three weeks’. Adding a short duration made the resolution do-able for me and I was successful.

More often than not I don’t make resolutions, why, because I don’t like to fail, there I said it, I don’t like to fail. As for a 2018 resolution, I haven’t decided yet.

Most often resolutions are about starting something good or stopping something bad.  January brings with it the idea of a clean slate and starting new, along with an irritating habit to put the wrong date on things for about a month.

There is just something in the human spirit that craves a chance to start again, to do better, to fix past mistakes. The truth of the matter is that many new years’ resolutions are short lived.  There are numerous jokes and sayings about New Years and resolutions.

Q: What’s a New Year’s resolution?

A: The to-do list for the first week of January.

New Year’s Eve toast: “May your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions.”

A remark from Maxine: “I made too many New Year’s resolutions.  It took me almost a full day to break them all.”

‘A New Years resolution is something that goes in one ear and out the other’

We make resolutions because we want to make a change.  We want to improve ourselves and the way we live. For most people the top resolutions tend to involve money, health and family.

What would a New Year’s resolution look like for you if you decided to focus it on God?

Although this list could be extensive consider making a resolution to do one or more of the following:

  1. Pray more.

So, he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD … ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty (Zechariah 4:6, NIV).

  1. Care for your spiritual self.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me (Philippians 3:12, NIV).

  1. Identify and confront your actions that don’t please God.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1, NIV).

  1. Do the hard work to build community.

If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over (Matthew 18:15, NIV).

  1. Accept and adjust to changing times.

From the tribe of Issachar, there were 200 leaders. … All these men understood the signs of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take (I Chronicles 12:32, NLT).

  1. Quit comparing myself to other Christians, other leaders, other churches and the past.

Turning his head, Peter noticed the disciple Jesus loved following right behind.  When Peter noticed him, he asked Jesus, “Master, what’s going to happen to him?”

Jesus said, “If I want him to live until I come again, what’s that to you? You — follow me.” That is how the rumor got out among the brothers that this disciple wouldn’t die. But that is not what Jesus said. He simply said, “If I want him to live until I come again, what’s that to you?” (John 21:20-23, Msg)

  1. Prioritize your family.

A leader must be well-thought-of, committed to his wife, … attentive to his own children and having their respect. For if someone is unable to handle his own affairs, how can he take care of God’s church? (I Timothy 3:2-5, Msg)

  1. Love people, not just crowds.

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love (I Corinthians 13:1-3, Msg).

  1. Be more open to change.

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? (Isaiah 43:19, NIV)

  1. Stay focused on the vision.

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common.  Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:42-47, NIV).

God longs for us to draw closer to him.  Make your 2018 resolution one that is pleasing to God.

Blessing to you this new year,

Pastor Deb

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