Keeping Your Resolutions

2 Thessalonians 3:13: “Dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good” (NLT).

It’s hard to believe, but we’re already almost a full week into 2022! How have your resolutions been going so far?

I’ve been putting forth all my effort into recognizing God’s presence in even the simplest and most ordinary of everyday tasks. It’s been a beautiful and edifying practice that I’m grateful for.

The resolutions you have made are good things. You made them because you want to improve your life, and that’s admirable! There’s always room for us to grow, and we should never settle for staying stagnant in life.

The truth of the matter is that God has created you with unlimited potential. There is a purpose deeply rooted within your identity that God has placed there. To fulfill that divine purpose, you must be at your best in every way possible. Our New Year resolutions can help us to get there!

How? Let’s look for example at one of the most common New Year’s resolutions: to get in better physical shape! At first glance, this may not seem like it’s anything that has to do with our purpose or identity in Christ. But when we dig deeper, we find out that couldn’t be further from the truth!

The truth of the matter is that God has created you with unlimited potential. There is a purpose deeply rooted within your identity that God has placed there.

1 Corinthians 6:19 says. “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?” To truly comprehend this verse and its deeper meaning, we must look back at the design of Solomon’s temple in ancient Jerusalem.

The temple was a marvel of architecture and beauty. The temple was built with such staggering attention to perfection as a testament to the Israelites devotion to God. Solomon’s temple was built to reflect the glory of God Himself, for in that temple is where they believed God’s Spirit to reside.

The temple was made up of many courts. As you proceeded further into the temple and through the courts, you entered more holy ground. The innermost sanctum was the holiest of all, known as the Holy of Holies. This room was deemed so holy that only the High Priest could enter it, and only on one day of the entire year.

Why was that? Because that’s the sanctum where they believed God’s Spirit dwelled.

When Jesus died on the cross, the Bible tells us that the veil in the temple was torn in two. This symbolizes the truth that the Holy Spirit now resided within every believer instead of the Holy of Holies.

That’s right: If you are a believer, God’s Spirit is within YOU!

That makes your body sacred space, something to be cherished, respected, and taken care of. Just as you wouldn’t defile a church, don’t defile your body either.

See how the New Year’s resolution of committing to better physical health can carry with it deeply spiritual significance? This is just one example of how our resolutions can be so important to keep!

That’s right: If you are a believer, God’s Spirit is within YOU!

But did you know that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail? With those staggering kinds of statistics against us, where are we to find the encouragement, strength, and wisdom we need to see our resolutions through?

The Bible

The Bible is our source of all wisdom, knowledge, and strength. When we need the extra insight or motivation to crush our goals for the New Year, we can find it in God’s Word! Through the Bible, God shows us the deeper meaning behind everything that we experience in life. This helps to instill purpose and identity in us. That purpose and identity will lead us to naturally experience the motivation to better ourselves in every way so that we can be more like Jesus!

Your Relationship with Christ

Our faith centers around our personal and intimate relationship with Jesus. Jesus loves us as we are, but He also leads us on a journey of discovering and unleashing the fullness of the potential that God has placed within us. Jesus wants nothing more than to see us accomplish God’s purpose for our lives, and it’s through our relationship with Him that it happens!

Fellowship

God didn’t create us to go through life alone. Being a relational being Himself, God created us in His image to thrive off of relationships with each other. Our brothers and sisters in Christ can provide unmatched support when we need it most. Having a fellow believer to hold you accountable for your New Year’s resolutions can make or break you sticking with it!

Don’t give up on your resolutions. God has placed them upon your heart for a reason. Remember your powerful identity as a child of God, and never stop growing!

Continue reading “Keeping Your Resolutions”

New Year, New Life in Christ

Psalm 23:3: “He restores my soul” (NLT).

2022 is upon us. The last couple of years have been challenging in unique and scary ways. More than ever, we are looking for the comfort of the fresh start we receive at the dawn of a new year.

In preparation for this, many of us have made resolutions. We make these resolutions because they are things that will better our lives. We desire that these resolutions would become the pillars of our new year, signifying the deep change we yearn for in 2022.

While all of these resolutions can be good and helpful to our lives, they mean nothing if we don’t embrace one simple truth: Jesus must be the foundation of our lives! If He is not, every resolution is destined to fail. If He is not, 2022 will not be the year of fulfillment, new life, restoration, and healing that we pray for.

Let’s make some resolutions together. These resolutions will lead us to new life in Christ this coming year!

Invest in God’s Word

The Bible is our manual for life! 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right” (NLT). The Bible is essential for our personal growth. God’s Word has enriched and changed the lives of countless people generation after generation. It can do the same for you!

No matter where we find ourselves in life, we need wisdom, encouragement, and strength. There is no greater source of these things than in the Holy Bible. Through God’s Word, He gives us everything we need to embrace positive change in our lives and step forward into our role as His children. A vibrant relationship with God’s Word will be just the catalyst you need to make true and lasting changes in your life.

No matter where we find ourselves in life, we need wisdom, encouragment, and strength.

Make Time for Prayer

Prayer must also be a daily practice in our lives if we are to further ourselves along our path of spiritual maturity. Ephesians 6:18 says, “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion” (NLT). God gives us this commandment through His Word because He knows that prayer will make us thrive in every way.

Prayer goes hand-in-hand with our daily Bible reading plan. Communication makes relationships thrive, and prayer is how we talk to God! As we read our Bible, we can bring to Him all of our questions and ask for His insight. Doing this daily is an incredible relationship builder with God that will set fire to your connection with Him! Your relationship with Him will be the foundation of the new life you will experience in Christ.

Communication is what makes relationships thrive, and prayer is how we talk to God!

Commit to Fellowship

God is a relational being, and we were created in His image! That means that we were made to do life alongside one another. God never intended for us to go through life alone. Fellowship brings an abundance of blessings to our lives. Going through life with fellow believers brings us encouragement, strength, and spiritual insight, the likes of which we can’t receive anywhere else.

Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend” (NLT). Fellow brothers and sisters in Christ can help us become the best versions of ourselves. Let’s conquer our goals for the new year together!

Make the Most Important Resolution

We make resolutions in the new year in order to bring positive changes to our lives. There is no better change that all of us can make than committing to growing closer and closer to God in new and exciting ways!

What’s incredible about this resolution is that when you live it out faithfully, you have the increased ability to tackle the other powerful changes you wish to make in your life. Your invigorated relationship with God will give you the strength, wisdom, and motivation you need to walk in new life in 2022!

While we’ve all experienced challenges in the past couple of years, God is calling us into a season of restoration, healing, and renewed perspective. Are you ready to follow Him on this grand adventure?

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How Does Faith Change Your Life?

Hebrews 11:11

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen (NLT).

During the formative years of one’s life, most people dream of becoming something like a doctor, teacher, or famous athlete. All I wanted to be was a dad. This desire to be a parent was the primary driver for many decisions in my life. I had felt this calling on my life and knew what path I was supposed to be following. I met the woman of my dreams, and we got married. All the pieces were starting to come together: until they weren’t. 

Our first two pregnancies ended in miscarriage. We were devastated. God had called us to start a family together, but it wasn’t happening. Every attempt that we made ended in heartbreak. We found ourselves without answers, wondering where we had gone wrong. The tragedies before us quickly eroded our faith. 

Life can be tough, no doubt about it. We aren’t always in control of what happens to us. There are times when there’s nothing we can rely on except our faith. In those moments, we realize the real power behind our faith and its ability to take a challenging situation and turn it into something beautiful. 

There are times when there’s nothing we can rely on except our faith.

My wife and I came to a critical decision. We sought answers, prepared the best we could, and took a leap of faith. Together, we entered our third pregnancy. We didn’t know what would come, but we decided to lean on our faith. Our decision paid off in ways we could never imagine. We are now the proud parents of the perfect baby girl. Faith changed our life and led us to our greatest victory. 

How does faith change your life? 

Faith Gives You Confidence

Faith reminds us that God is always by our side, no matter what we are going through. We will assuredly go through trails, big and small, in our life. But faith is the reminder that we never walk through any challenge alone. God promises to lead us to something better on the other side: Never forget that “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen” (Hebrews 11:1, NLT).

Faith Reminds You of the Truth

Satan is a thief, seeking to steal your joy and security. His greatest weapon against our faith is lies. He slings them at us relentlessly, attempting to break our trust in God and distract us from the truth. He aims to do this because the truth is powerful beyond measure and fills us with love, peace, and joy as we’ve never known. Let Jesus’ words be a reminder always to remember the truth when you are assaulted with lies: “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life” (John 10:10, NLT).

The truth is powerful beyond measure and fills us with love, peace, and joy as we’ve never known.

Faith Shapes Your Worldview

We live in a world where negativity runs rampant and is amplified by social media and the news. This worldview is not the way that God would have us operate. Our mindset shapes our lives and our actions. God desires for us to cultivate a worldview of positivity, love, and peace. We can build this kind of attitude in ourselves through the assurance we receive from our faith in God: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2, NLT).

You hear stories time and time again of how faith radically alters the course of someone’s life. That life-changing faith is available to you as well! All you have to do is let Jesus into your heart and walk a life of faith in God. Jesus wants to enter your life, filling you with a faith that will carry you through even the most trying of times. If you make this choice today, all of the unparalleled benefits of faith can be yours. 

Bible Verses on Strength

It requires immeasurable strength to conquer the trials that life throws our way. Thankfully, we are children of a God who is all-powerful! He shares His strength with us abundantly. His desire is that we would thrive in life, crushing every obstacle set against us by the mightiness of our faith.

The following are 10 Bible verses on strength to inspire you today. Pray that God would fill you with the power that only He can provide. Live out your day with confidence because our God is a mighty tower that no evil can topple.

5 Bible Verses on Healing

God reaches into our deepest needs and brings healing incomparable to anything else we can ever experience. It washes over us, bringing us back to the fullness of life and leaving us renewed. Here are 5 Bible verses to help remind you of this beautiful truth!

For more inspiration on healing, click here!

Is The Bible Applicable For Us Today?

Romans 15:4

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope (NIV)

“Life doesn’t come with a manual.” You’ve heard that saying, right? What if I told you that old, cliched saying wasn’t actually accurate? What if life DID come with a manual? Wouldn’t that make life a bit less complicated?

I’m here to advocate for the fact that life does indeed come with a manual. It’s called The Bible. It is the Word of God. Through it God speaks to us, teaches us, inspires us, and brings us hope. We learn of the history of humanity, how we are to live in this life (and why it’s important), and we find prophecies of what the future will bring.

The Bible may be old, but the wisdom it offers is fresh and relevant. Truth doesn’t age: it stays true no matter how many years go by. While we may be distanced from the Biblical text in terms of time and language, the inherent truth that it contains remains true nonetheless. Timeless teaching is always needed.

Truth doesn’t age: it stays true no matter how many years go by.

So what does The Bible offer us today?

1. Truth in a world of subjectivity.

2. Peace in a society thrashing about in the throes of chaos.

3. Hope for creation filled with people struggling to find any glimpse of it.

We live in a society where the pervading worldview is that “you can create your own truth.” In this mindset truth is subject to your own personal thoughts and feelings. The question I have is, how can everyone’s truth actually be true if they are contradictory to one another? No matter how good of intentions that we may have in trying to make everyone feel empowered and validated it’s just not plausible that everyones truth is actually true. So by encouraging this mindset, we are encouraging people to seek things that may or may not actually be truth, and we’re doing them a disservice.

We all see the news. We hear of the chaos in the streets. No matter what your particular views are on the matters involved, violence is never the answer. Our world desperately needs peace. The Bible offers it in droves.

Paul reminds us in Romans 15:4 that the encouragement from the Scriptures brings us hope. He says that it helps us to build endurance to endure hard times. Can any of us claim not to need at least a little bit of hope? Wouldn’t endurance to carry on help us tremendously in the situation in which we find ourselves here in 2020?

I urge you to read your Bibles. Even a verse a day can make a difference. If you need a Bible reading plan or guidance on how to interpret Scripture, please reach out and I’d be thrilled to help. Search for the objective truth that it provides and don’t settle for subjectivity. In its pages you will meet God Himself, and He will speak to you.