As the New Year starts and races to its end, here's a devotional I was led to, during a Bible Study:
Text: Phil. 3:8-14
Many of us start the year with New Year Resolutions.
Here's an excerpt from Jonathan Edwards' Seventy Resolutions:
1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God’s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriad’s of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many and how great soever.
7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be. afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.
14. Resolved, never to do anything out of revenge.
30. Resolved, to strive to my utmost every week to be brought higher in religion, and to a higher exercise of grace, than I was the week before.
52. I frequently hear persons in old age say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, that I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age. July 8, 1723.
56. Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.
58. Resolved, not only to refrain from an air of dislike, fretfulness, and anger in conversation, but to exhibit an air of love, cheerfulness and benignity. May 27, and July 13, 1723.
67. Resolved, after afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them, what good I have got by them, and what I might have got by them.
While resolutions last only through the year, and sometimes continue in the following years, we all should have life goals as Christians:
1. The Glory of God…
Isa 43:7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.
(This is the statement of purpose by God, for making man)
1Co 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
1Pe 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
2. Christ likeness, Rom. 8:29-30
Gal 4:19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,
1Pe 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
1Jn 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.;
3. Pleasing God
1Pe 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
2Ti 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
2Ti 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
Mat 25:20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. Mat 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Oh may this be our purpose of our lives, that we should hear Him say, 'well done' as we conclude our lives.
4. Focus; Finish the course,
Act 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
Joh 17:4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
Heb. 12:1-2 get rid of other things…
Here's a quote from Jim Elliott ( I believe he may have borrowed a couple of thoughts from Amy Carmichael's writings)
“He makes His ministers a flame of fire. Am I ignitable? God deliver me from the dread asbestos of ‘other things.’ Saturate me with the oil of the Spirit that I may be a flame. But flame is transient, often short-lived. Canst thou bear this, my soul – short life? In me there dwells the Spirit of the Great Short-Lived, whose zeal for God’s house consumed Him. ‘Make me Thy Fuel, Flame of God.’”
“God, I pray thee, light these idle sticks of my life and may I burn for Thee. Consume my life, my God, for it is Thine. I seek not a long life, but a full one, like you, Lord Jesus.”
Lilias Trotter, Focussed…Turn your eyes upon Jesus….
Heb 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
Heb 11:10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
2Co 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
6. Leave a Legacy
Heb 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
(This was the verse that inspired me to find other goals in the scripture)
Phil. 3:17 Follow me even as I follow Christ.
(Can we say like Paul? Many, unfortunately say, don't follow me. I am not perfect, but follow Christ. He is perfect. But Paul here confessed he was not perfect, yet he commanded the Philippians to follow him. Wow..)
2Ti 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
When I see the lives of George Mueller, Bakht Singh and others, I have no doubt in my mind regarding the power and reality of the workings of God. Can others say this about us?
Please feel free to add to this list