New Year Resolutions (Part 3)

Reading Time: 2 minutes

As we look forward to another wonderful year, many of us make new year resolutions.  Maybe this year we can set goals that help us grow spirituality over the next twelve months.  As Christians, we should be growing together in terms of three concepts: worshiping God, loving others, and serving.  Perhaps this year we can challenge ourselves with building stronger relationships within these three areas.

In part one, we looked at our relationship with God.  In part two, we looked at our relationship with others.  In this post, we’ll look at our relationship within the Body of Christ.

Our relationship within the Body of Christ

The body of Christ is the Church.  If you’re a Christian, you’re a part of the body.   As the body, we work together to serve those around us as Christ has instructed us to do.  Within Paul’s discussion on spiritual gifts and unity, Paul explained it this way:

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.  For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body…and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.  For the body does not consist of one member but of many.[i]

All of us have something unique to offer.  When we all serve together, we become the hands and feet of Christ and are able to fulfill His purposes.  We can look at it like this:

1)      There is one overall purpose – God’s will

2)      There is one body – the Church

3)      There are many parts – there is a place for everyone to serve

4)      There are many functions – everyone serves and contributes in their own way

5)      A hand cannot be a foot – one person cannot do every job and no one can replace someone else

6)      The body working together – God’s will accomplished

There are many different ways we can serve within the body.  The key is finding how God has gifted you, realize you’ve been gifted in that area to serve God, and go for it!  One area is not better than the other, they are just different.  For example, a musical gifting is no better than someone who serves as an usher.

We all need to find a way to serve.  In fact, in order to truly be a part of the Church, we all need to find a place to serve.  If the body of Christ is the Church, and the body needs active members serving in their unique way in order to fulfill God’s will, then the entire Church needs to be a part of body in order for success.  That said, the will of God will be accomplished either way.  The question is: will we choose be a part of it or will we allow the few to do their job and ours?  Unfortunately, the latter eventually leads to burnout and ineffectiveness.

Where will you serve this year?  Will you try something new?  Will you continue to serve?  Will you continue to be a part of the body of Christ?  Be a part of the body of Christ and grow this year!

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From our home to yours, have a blessed and wonderful year!

Check out part one and two of “New Year Resolutions”

 


[i] 1 Cor 12:12-14, NIV.

New Year Resolutions (Part 2)

Reading Time: 2 minutes

As we look forward to another wonderful year, many of us make new year resolutions.  Maybe this year we can set goals that help us grow spirituality over the next twelve months.  As Christians, we should be growing together in terms of three concepts: worshiping God, loving others, and serving.  Perhaps this year we can challenge ourselves with building stronger relationships within these three areas.

In part one, we looked at our relationship with God.  In this post, we’ll look at our relationship with others.

Our relationship with Others

We’re around others every day.  In order to have successful relationships, we need to ensure we respect and love one another.  Let’s look at a couple of ways we can work on this during 2013.

Forgiveness

Because we’re human, we sometimes butt heads with one another.  Sometimes it results in pain, confusion, heartache or otherwise hurt.  Generally speaking, we have no idea we’ve hurt someone unless that person has told us.  In that case, we need to make sure we initiate forgiveness so a positive resolution can be made.  Paul told us:

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.[i]

We need to bear with and forgive one another like Christ did for us.  If that’s true, we’ll need to forgive without expecting anything in return.

Jesus told us how to forgive.  In Matthew’s gospel[ii], Jesus lays out four steps to follow:

1)      Go to the person one-on-one – let them know what happened and work it out.  If that doesn’t work,

2)      Gather two or three people together as witnesses to help mediate the situation.  If that doesn’t work,

3)      Tell the church body and hopefully a positive resolution can be made.  If that doesn’t work,

4)      Disregard the person and situation.  In other words, take the high road.

Let’s not wait any longer – mend relationships in 2013.

Loving Others

The Bible is pretty clear that we need to love one another.  In fact, the gospel is built on LOVE.  When writing to the Church in Rome, Paul wrote:

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.  Be devoted to one another in love.  Honour one another above yourselves.  Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with the Lord’s people who are in need.  Practice hospitality.[iii]

We are called to have sincere and genuine love for others.  We need to love when society tells us there is no room for love.  We need to love even when love isn’t reciprocated.  How will you love others this year?

How will you challenge yourself to better your relationship with others?  This year, let’s love as Christ loves us.

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From our home to yours, have a blessed and wonderful year!

Check out part one and three of “New Year Resolutions”

 


[i] Col 3:13, NIV.

[ii] Matt 18:15-20, NIV.

[iii] Romans 12:9-13, NIV.

New Year Resolutions (Part 1)

Reading Time: 2 minutes

As we look forward to another wonderful year, many of us make new year resolutions.  Maybe this year we can set goals that help us grow spirituality over the next twelve months.  As Christians, we should be growing together in terms of three concepts: worshiping God, loving others, and serving.  Perhaps this year we can challenge ourselves with building stronger relationships within these three areas.

Over the next three posts, we’ll see how we can do this.  In this post, we’ll look at our relationship with God.

Our relationship with God

It’s no surprise, strengthening our relationship with God is important. Let’s look at two ways we can grow with God this year.

Time With God

If we want to know God’s will for us and wonder why we go through tough times, we have to know his voice.  The closer we are with God, the clearer we’ll see God’s will; the clearer we see God’s will, the more comfortable we’ll be with the circumstances in life.

Early in Mark’s gospel, Jesus removed himself from all distractions to pray:

And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.[i]

If we read the original Greek text, we see that the emphasis is put on how Jesus removed himself from his busy ministry to pray.  Let’s try to remove ourselves from our busy schedules this year, and take time to be with God.

Physical Well-Being

 Another way we can draw nearer to God this year, is by taking care of ourselves.  God has given us a body and He expects us to honour Him by taking care of it. Paul wrote,

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought for a price.  Therefore honor God with your bodies.[ii]

Too often, we read this passage with others in mind rather than ourselves.  I’m sure we can all improve the way we take care of ourselves.  For some, it might mean eating better, while others are looking to quit smoking.  For me, I’m going to try to drink less coffee and eat less fast food.  In any case, let’s search ourselves and ask how we can better honor God with our physical well-being.

We can grow our relationship in many other ways as well.  This question is, how will you challenge yourself to draw nearer and honor God this year?  Whatever you choose, I guarantee you will be richly blessed for it.

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From our home to yours, have a blessed and wonderful year!

Check out part two and three of “New Year Resolutions”

 


[i] Mark 1:35, ESV.

[ii] 1 Cor 6:19-20, NIV.