7. Rising to the New
is almost unnatural to try to ignore the New Year
year more and more is made of it – more fireworks etc.
of us may ignore it but it is happening
than set specific targets (new year resolutions!), it's better that
we simply remind ourselves of who we are with God.
In the Place of God's Choosing
starting point was that he was a prisoner
– a prisoner of the
Lord = he sees himself having been made captive to God's purposes
– a prisoner for the
Lord = maybe literal (see 6:20
) but more likely one taken captive
to do Jesus' bidding.
it is, Paul sees he is where he is by Jesus' bidding!
overstate the importance of this – knowing you are where you are at
because God has brought you here – for a purpose.
Paul it may have been literal prison
us what is the ‘prison' we're in – a place where we don't seem to
be able to escape from?
prison of ill health, age, singleness, poverty
Paul saw himself a prisoner to God's purposes
best writings seem to have come from prison
sometimes work best ‘in prison' but given over to God
didn't stay there – and neither will we.
Frail but Children of God
real starting place is to acknowledge our frailty
completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another
in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through
the bond of peace. (Eph
is about knowing who we are, really who we are – those who are sinners
prone to getting it wrong and needing Christ's salvation to change
we truly realise that that is who we are, then we will be humble,
rightly esteeming ourselves, and because we do that we will be gentle
with others because we know that we are frail, inadequate and prone
to making mistakes, just like they do.
there is a greatness about us – we are God's children
God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things
at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good
work.” (2 Cor 9:8).
we are united with Christ, as God's children, we have the resource
of his Holy Spirit
we go into the new year with a reminder of our weakness and need of
one another and we don't put ourselves on pedestals and look down
need other Christians to:
us accountable and correct us in love
are to be with other Christians to
them accountable and correct them in love
Purposeful Children of God
he will make time & energy to achieve those
just saw a reference to abounding in every good work
we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do .”
HAS got a plan for us. Our part in it is to be sensitive to Him, listening
to Him and then just going with what He puts before us.
not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But
I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously
reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I
count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the
goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running,
and I'm not turning back. (Phil
3:12-14 Message Version)
attitude was, I've got somewhere to go and I'm going there with God.
Edwards: Resolution One: I will live for
Two: If no one else does, I still will.
life without purpose is aimless wandering
“the heart is deceitful above all things” the difficulty is being
able to rightly assess priorities
we simply have to trust that if we are putting God first in our attitudes,
then He will lead us.
He will make time & energy to achieve those things He gives us
in Him, with good heart even ‘in prison'
our own frailty and need of others
we are also sources of supply for them
with a purpose – God's purpose for me.