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And He Himself gave some to be....evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ...
- Ephesians 4:11-12

THIS BLOG HAS MOVED TO www.timeintheword.org

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Location: The Hill Country of Texas

Pastor - Providence Reformed Baptist Church
Director - TIME in the Word Ministries

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

New Year's Revolutions

We will pick up in the New Year with our daily devotionals from a specific text of Scripture, but for this last week of 2005 I would like us to examine the habit of making, hoping to keep, and often breaking New Year's Resolutions. This is a good time to make resolutions, though we should never limit our desire to do what is right and good to just one day a year.

We should daily be striving to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourself. As I heard John MacArthur on the radio last night, he preached that we should remember that our pursuit of Christ and His glory is not complete once we are saved! It is a contiunual process of pressing on toward the goal, it is daily, it is a war, it is like running in a race to finish and to win! Often though we get spiritually lazy and so make a few resolutions to get fit physically, to eat right, to put others first, to watch less tv and be better stewards over the finances with which God has entrusted us.

However, I think we need to focus on the spiritual things too! You know, being spiritually fit ("walk worthy of the calling with which you were called"; be salt and light), eating right (daily consumption of the Word of God, meditating on it day and night - Psalm 1), and even learning to develop desires for the Word of God and being right with Him - otherwise identified by Jesus as hungering and thirsting after righteousness.

We need to make a few resolutions, and determine to keep them! But even more than making resolutions, I believe we need to see a few revolutions. Yes indeed, New Year's REVOLUTIONS.

A resolution is only as strong as our own fallen willpower, our resolve. It is a good intention that often gets discarded rather quickly. It is an attempt to change behavior and attitudes but in truth, we are not changed ourselves. A revolution on the other hand is a complete change, a turn around, a transformation in who we are. It is becoming a new man, not just teaching the old man to do a new trick. It is a change in our being!

The first such revolution takes place when we are convicted of our sin, called effectually by the Holy Spirit, regenerated by His power through the Word of God, given by free grace the gifts of grace, repentance, and faith, and as we trust Christ, turning from our sin in repentance and turning to Him in faith we are freely justified and forgiven. Our sin debt has been paid and we are reconciled to God. This is a revolution. We are a new creation, the old has passed away and all things have been made new.

But now we must walk by faith day by day, the same kind of active, working faith that saves us sustains us as we grow in grace. We must die to our own desires daily, taking up our cross, denying self and obeying our Lord, our Master Jesus Christ. And as we continue to be convicted of sin and as we continue to grow in grace we find that we are in need of further transformation. In fact, this ongoing transformation is a regular part of our duty in worship to God (Rom 12:1-2)!

This continuation of being transformed, known theologically as sanctification, is accomplished in us by the Spirit through the Word of God (John 17:17). And proof of this ongoing work of the Spirit in saving us is seen in how we think, act, and talk. It is also revealed by who and what we are!

Are you a revolutionary? Are you being transformed today into the image of Christ? Are you ready to make a few resolutions? If so, STOP. Do not make any New Year's Resolutions. No! Instead, pray and seek God for grace to make a few New Year's Revolutions!! Changes in your character, your thinking, your conversation, your behavior, your attitude, and in your faith!

This week, we will take a look at Jonathan Edwards Resolutions. (I think he should have called them "revolutions", but that's okay). What he resolved shows us how to pursue revolution in our own lives. It will be a guide for us as we do give serious thought about the year we are completing and the year about to begin. Through the week we will be laying the ground work to answer the question, "What kind of Christian will I be in 2006?" And by God's grace, we will press toward the mark of being just like Jesus!

Tune in tomorrow for the first installment of Jonathan Edward's Resolutions.



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