The Bible Speaks

Jan. 13, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

“Have you considered my servant Job … a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” Job 1:8

The news report said “a New Year a new you” and went on to state that many Americans brought in the New Year with resolutions to change their habits in 2013. The most common resolution: to lose weight. The second most common one, closely related to the first, was to get more exercise. I noticed on the trail where I walk each day that there were more runners than usual despite the bad weather.

New Year’s resolutions are well and good, but they are often short lived and short sighted. Far better to make “new life” resolutions; choosing to change your lifestyle and life pursuits rather than modifying a few bad habits for a short period of time. To do that you will need a goal. May I suggest the high and holy goal of becoming a man or woman of God? Wouldn’t you like to have the Lord say of you “have you considered my servant Joe/Julie, a blameless and upright man/woman, one who fears God and shuns evil?” Can you think of a better goal in life than to be pleasing to the life giver? To become such a person means a lifelong pursuit of dropping sin and not just weight; of exercising faith and not just the body. It may take years, even a lifetime, so you must begin now and never look back.

What I am suggesting to you is that you change your focus from the temporal to the eternal; from accomplishing things to becoming something. What I am suggesting is that you make it your life pursuit to become a man/woman of God. There are precious few of them in our churches, so the need is great. One such man of God was Timothy and his mentor, Paul, wrote to him in 1 Tim. 6:11 of the qualities of such a life. Paul urged Timothy to pursue righteousness: doing the right thing regardless of consequences or opinions of others; godliness: the adoption of words and actions that are the same as those of our Lord (godliness means god-likeness); faith: living by the promises of the Word of God instead of the fears of man; love: the treating of all men as Christ would treat them, putting others before oneself; patience: the willingness to wait upon God for His action instead of taking matters into our own hands; and finally gentleness: demonstrating the kindness of God who truly cares for all men and is longsuffering with them.

The Bible speaks of resolutions that are higher and holier than those our own efforts can accomplish. The goal of everyone He saves is to remake them in the image of His Son. You can’t become a man of God in one year, but you can start on the path that moves you a year closer. Resolve today to change more than a few bad habits; change your life!

The Rev. Bruce MacInnes is pastor of Turner’s Chapel.