Thursday, January 1, 2009
The New Year-New Beginnings
The Lord has recently and consistently been pointing out two areas/actions/practices in my life that I need to cease and for the first time these do not concern ethics or learning to forgive others or try to deprioritize my desires but rather for the first time,lifestyle personal actions. One I have probably been doing for 26 years and the other for 16 years.
I thought that while it might be a little hard to get rid of these two things, I thought, a little will power and it would slowly extinguish itself out with little fuss. Strangely in my attempts to rid myself these self inflicted sins, they have wrapped themselves tighter around me, more so than ever before. It seems that now that I have been directed to excise these actions out of my life, they have become a focus and gained a stronger foothold then they ever had before. I have had a few good runs but then POW I am back in the saddle again.
This personal trial and subsequent multiple failures has coincided with the new year to remind me that while God is in ultimate judgement he also is a God that forgives failures and failings. It is the source of my joy and hope, that not only will he aid me in this personal purification but he will not turn his back on me while I struggle through the process. The list below are Biblical examples of failings and regeneration back into God's plan.
Peter-Matthew 26:75 Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: "Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times." And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Thomas-John 20:24-29 24Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!"But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it." 26A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" 27Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." 28Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" 29Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
The Twelve-Mark 9:33-35 33They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, "What were you arguing about on the road?" 34But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. 35Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all."
Paul(Saul)-Acts 8:1 And Saul was there, giving approval to his death. [ The Church Persecuted and Scattered ] On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.
Zacchaeus-Luke 19:1-9 1Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. 4So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. 5When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." 6So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. 7All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a 'sinner.' " 8But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount." 9Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."
Samaritan Woman-John 4:17-18,28-42 17"I have no husband," she replied. Jesus said to her, "You are right when you say you have no husband. 18The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true." 28Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29"Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ[b]?" 30They came out of the town and made their way toward him.
39Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I ever did." 40So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41And because of his words many more became believers. 42They said to the woman, "We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world."
I truly thank God that this list could go on and on and on. That is one of the Hopes to be found in Jesus Christ.