Lucia's Blog: "THAT I MAY KNOW HIM"
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Monday, January 4, 2016

"THAT I MAY KNOW HIM"

"But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed unto his death... "
Philippians 3:7-11



The apostle Paul made his resolution but once when he obeyed the Gospel: that he might know Christ and the power of His resurrection. What a powerful resolution!  It carried him throughout life and motivated him to sacrifice himself to the very end for the glory of Christ. How trivial our resolutions are sometimes! Because they are so shallow, most of them are forgotten within the first few days of getting back to normal.

As far as New Year's resolutions go, there is no better way to start the New Year than with the words of the apostle Paul as found in Philippians 3:7-11.  The apostle Paul is not boasting about all his credentials.  His confidence is not placed on outward things or his personal worthiness.  In fact, he thinks that such things are worthless. His resolution was to know Christ more and better.  Did not Paul know Jesus already?  Indeed, he did. And yet, Paul yearned to know Christ and by faith to finish the work that the Lord had entrusted to him.  One of my biggest desires for this coming year and the rest of my life is to come to know my Savior better.  How do I propose to accomplish such a goal?  By simply spending time reading and meditating on His Word as well as spending time in prayer asking Him for guidance, wisdom, and discernment.  I want to be a better Christian and follower of our Lord and Savior and bear much fruit for His glory.

As I look back and take notice that another year is passing by, I am reminded that we are one year closer to the day of reckoning, whether it be the day of our death or the day that our Lord returns. That day when we all shall stand before the Judge of ALL and give account for all of our deeds here on earth, 2 Corinthians 5:10.  That day when He will either say, "Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."  (Matthew 25:34).  Or sadly He will say, "Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels."  (Matthew 25:41). 

I would like to take this opportunity to encourage everyone to reflect on how we have used our past years and also to suggest some resolutions that we may discuss for the coming year.  My goal is to encourage you and me to make better and wiser use of the time the Lord has granted us.  Let us use this coming year to prepare ourselves better for that final day of judgment that awaits us.  Let us consider the following resolutions:

  • Let us resolve to draw nearer to God and Christ:  
  • By reading, studying and meditating on His Word.  There is power in His Word, Hebrews 4:12
  • By being diligent in prayer, Hebrews 4:14-16
    • Let us be thankful Christians, Col. 4:12; I Th. 5:17-18
    • By following the example of Daniel who prayed three times daily, Daniel 6:10
  • Let us resolve to stay in the RACE, Hebrews 12:1-2: 
  • Let us run this race and not give up. Let us meditate on the words of the Apostle Paul regarding that race, "Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified."  (I Corinthians 9:24-27).  
  • We must get rid of the layers of distraction that hold us back and render us weak in running the race of our Christian journey.  Stay in the race!
  • Let us resolve to stop making all kinds of excuses, Luke 14:16-24:
  • Let us not fail the Lord and His church in our duties or obligations.
  • Let us not take lightly the command to assemble to worship our Lord and let us not be like those of Luke 14:16-24.  Take heed to what Hebrews 10:25 commands us to do.
  • Let us stop making excuses and do our best!!!
  • Let us resolve to be good soldiers in Christ's army, 2 Timothy 2:3-4:
  • This precious army is composed of all kinds of volunteers.
  • Our enlistment began when by faith, Hebrews 11:6, we repented from a sincere heart of our sinful way of living, Luke 3:3; confessed the name of our Chief Commander, Matthew 10:32-33; Hebrews 2:10; and were buried with Him in baptism for the forgiveness of our sins, Acts 2:38; Romans 6:1-4; Galatians 3:27.
  • As a result of being enlisted in the Lord's army as well as being in total subjection to His will, we as soldiers need to "fight the good fight of faith," I Timothy 6:12.
  • God demands that His soldiers live godly, be diligent Bible readers; be prayer warriors; be faithful in attendance and finally be loving and loyal.
  • At the end of our volunteering journey, we all need to say like the apostle Paul, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing."  (2 Timothy 4:7-9).
  • Let us resolve to keep our God-given obligations to Him, Deuteronomy 6:5; 10:12; 11:1; Matthew 22:37:
  • We, as His children have obligations, duties.  Lest we forget, we promised Him that we would be faithful as His bride, the church.  We promised to love Him and His bride.  We promised to keep His commandments.  We promised to walk in ALL His Ways and to serve Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. 
  • Let us be true to our word as Christians!!
  •  Let us resolve to be united in love, Ephesians 5:1-2; John 13:34-35:
  • Let us draw nearer to our brethren by learning more about them than just their names, 3 John 14.
  • Let us become more hospitable, making an effort to invite them to come into our homes for a meal, Bible study or singing with the purpose of connecting and becoming better acquainted as a family in Christ, I Peter 4:9.
  • Let us love one another with a tender heart, I John 3:11;4:7,16.  Sadly the lack of such love as portrayed in I John can cause serious harm and damage to the welfare of the body of Christ, Galatians 5:15.
  • Let us resolve to be unselfish and die to self, 2 Corinthians 5:15:
  • He who died for us is worthy of ALL glory!  We deny self and die to self because we have been bought by His blood and have become His own possession, Ephesians 5:25-26; I Peter 1:18-19.
  • We must die to self by doing the will of God, I Peter 4:2; I Corinthians 10:24.
  • Let the love of Christ constrain us that we may die to self.
  • Let us resolve to use our God-given talents for His glory, Matthew 25:14-30:
  • Our God demands that we use our talents faithfully.  Let us use them well and not lose them!
  • Let us resolve to walk in a manner worthy of Christ and His Gospel, Philippians 1:27:
  • By our manner of life.
  • By conduct that adorns the doctrine of God, Titus 2:10.  The word "adorn" means to beautify.
  • By revealing the beauty of Christ in us, doing His will and walking in His narrow WAY.
  • By being pure and godly, living a life that is blameless.
  • Let us purpose in our hearts to show the world that is dying in darkness what a genuine and pure Christian is, Matthew 5:13-16!
  • Let us resolve to be orderly, like good soldiers who perform their services well. In a few words:
  • As a soldier in the Lord's army, we need to be doers and not just hearers, James 1:22.
  • As soldiers, we are to be faithful followers of our Lord Jesus.
  • As soldiers, we are to imitate His example in doing the will of our Father in heaven, John 4:24.
  • As soldiers, we are to hear and obey Him so that we may receive His blessings and enter by the gates of the city and have the right to the tree of life, Revelation 22:14.
  • Let us resolve to live in newness of life in Christ Jesus, in the regeneration of our mind and soul, 2 Corinthians 5:17:
  • Let us put off the old self of sin and slavery to death, Romans 6:6
  • Let us crucify self and live to righteousness and true holiness, Ephesians 4:24
  • Let us be Christ-like, Colossians 3:10
  • Are you Christ-like?  
  • Do you have the mind of Christ in you?  
  • Do others see a difference in you, the new you, or the old you, I Peter 4:4?
  • Let us resolve to teach others the Gospel of our Lord and share the hope of our salvation:
  • By revealing Christ and being ready to defend His Gospel, since there is power in it to change lives for salvation, I Peter 3:15; Romans 1:16
  • Let us resolve to support our local congregation.  To support the church that our Lord purchased with His blood.  Consider the ways in which you can support and help the local congregation:
  • By living pure and godly lives.
  • By supporting those in leadership such as elders and those who labor for the cause of Christ.
  • By promoting love and unity.
  • By walking in a manner worthy of our Lord never bringing shame to the congregation.
  • By giving as God commands it.
  • By doing the best you can for the cause of Christ.  Working heartily as unto the Lord and not men.
  • By faithfully attending every service.
  • By putting God first above ALL.

In Conclusion:

These resolutions are simple, yet they go a long way toward bearing good fruit that makes us genuine followers of Christ.  Let me suggest some reasons that our godly resolutions can help us to know Christ and the power of His resurrection.

  • They will draw us nearer to the throne of God.  (Hebrews 4:16).
  • They will develop in us a godly attitude of joy, prayer and thanksgiving no matter what our circumstances might be.  (1 Thess. 5:16-18).
  • They will purify our life from all evil.  (1 Thess. 5:21-22).
  • They will help us start trusting in God's faithful promises.  (Romans 8:28; 1 Peter5:7; Matthew 6:31-33).
  • They will help us to never give up doing what is right:  praying, giving, serving, and defending our faith.  (Gal. 6:9).
  • They will help us to stop wasting God's time.  (Eph. 5:15-16).
  • They will help us to grow diligently in our Lord (in our knowledge of Him) by not losing our zeal.  (2 Peter 1:5-8).
  • They will help us become better servants to our family, to the church, and to all.  (1 Peter 4:10-11).


All of these godly resolutions will improve our relationship with our brethren and those who are lost in the world because of sin. Such godly resolutions are vital for those of us who want God to pour out His blessing upon us and create in us a clearer conscience.  When we think in this way, it will make us conscious that life is short like a vapor and therefore, we must redeem the time and walk wisely, Ephesians 5:15-16; James 4:13-15.

What are you going to do with the new year our God is giving to you?

May our Lord help us to rely on His strength and wisdom to help us run His race in a manner worthy of Him.  May we learn to develop the heart of a servant and be more like Christ, the Servant.  May we commit our life to Him trusting that He will help us become righteous through His everlasting Word, that we may shine our light before all men and glorify our Father in heaven.  May we never stop growing in the knowledge of our Lord and His resurrection so that we may die to self and glorify Christ.


Luci

P.S.  I want to encourage you with the following beautiful poem:

   
"A New Year, A New Beginning"

   The old year ends, a new begins
   With pages clean and new;
   And what is written on each page
   will now depend on you.

   You can't relive the year that's past,
   Erasing every wrong;
   For once a year - or day - is spent,
   It is forever gone.

   But don't give up in dark despair
   If you have failed some test;
   Seek God's forgiveness and resolve
   Henceforth to do your best.

   Resolve each precious day to do
   Things good and kind and pure;
   Though days and years may pass away,
   These things shall still endure.

   You know not where your path may lead
   Nor what's beyond the hill;
   But know that God walks at your side,
   If you will do His will.

   All things are possible with God,
   Though days be bright or dim;
   So do your best and know that you
   Can leave the rest to Him.