Sorting Out Goals and Starting Fresh

I've already posted my "New Year's Resolutions" - like it or not, it seems to be a habit that we think of the new year as a time for contemplation and of new beginnings.  I didn't want my spiritual goals for next year to be "do this, don't do that".  That's moralism.  Me trying to be better is not what makes me better.

Last year, I had a goal of "reading the Bible".  But me reading the Bible is not what works - it's letting the Bible read me.  Am I willing to be examined by the Word of God?  This is not so much about what I DO, but rather my thoughts and motivations.  Knowing what the Bible says is a good thing - I'm not saying that we shouldn't read the Bible...but knowing what it says is only the first step to "getting" why it says what it says.

There is a huge difference between KNOWING who Jesus is (lots of people know that) and BEING who Jesus is.  LIke the saying goes, "Jesus with skin on".  I want to be Jesus with skin on.

  • Don't be afraid of controversy.  Jesus was not afraid to call the religious leaders of His time a "brood of vipers" because of what their theology of works was doing to the people.
  • Controversy with grace is the key.  There was a difference in the way that Jesus treated people who were doing wrong and the way He treated people who were teaching wrong.

There is a huge difference between knowing the grace that was extended to me - and making a choice to extend that grace to everybody around me - even (especially) those who really don't deserve it.   I want to extend grace.

I sin.  Everybody does.  I've been reading a little Spurgeon here and there (and I'm going to be reading more).  One of the striking things about Spurgeon is that he never, EVER lost his sense of wonder about the grace of God that was extended to him. I am that "wretched man" in Romans who knows what to do, but doesn't have the ability to do it.  That which I want to do I do not do and that which I do not want to do, I do.  Or more to the point, that which I should not want to do, I do anyway.

If I could do it - if I wanted to do it - I wouldn't need grace.  But I do need grace.  And that is what amazing, that I need to let go of what I can DO (which is nothing) and cling to what Christ did.

This is what I want to do.

It is not bad - it is good - to know what you believe and to stand up for it.  Being opinionated is not a bad thing - being able to clearly articulate why you hold that opinion is better.  Having a clearly articulated opinion, and stating it with gentleness and respect is best.

That may be my "phrase" for 2007 - "gentleness and respect"

That's a good goal - and you can start fresh anytime you need to.

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5 thoughts on “Sorting Out Goals and Starting Fresh

  1. It may change again! (I have a template that I like, but I'm having trouble putting images at the top - my big thing is that I want a 3-column layout)

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  3. Knowing, preaching and doing, plus intention and grace...So many meanings included in your post, so much to think about before we can say that we have actually touched what Faith is about!
    Wishing you advancement in believing and doing in the new year.

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