Thursday, January 23, 2014

Turn the Page Part 3

Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:12-14

As with any new year, we have new opportunities.  The New Year is a great time to turn the page on stuff you’d like to get going on and accomplish in the next year.  It’s also a great time to turn the page on some things you should put behind you.  Let me suggest five things to turn the page on:
First…Turn the page on a lukewarm relationship with Christ.

That’s not what Jesus wants for you, and I can’t imagine why anyone would want that if they really knew what God had in store for them.

Jesus wants us to be on fire for Him – loving Him and living for Him in every area of our lives.
·      Spend time in the Word and prayer. If you’ve never developed that habit, start today to spend five minutes reading in the New Testament and five minutes praying.

·      Give up on half-hearted obedience to Jesus. Get past lip-service to life-service. Jesus says that if we love Him, we’ll obey Him. If we don’t obey Him, then we don’t really love Him.
Strengthen your relationship with His bride – the Church.  Whatever it takes, turn the page on a lukewarm, mediocre relationship with Christ.

Second…Turn the page on un-forgiveness.
Some of you have been hurt. Some of you have been hurt badly. Others have just gotten their feelings hurt a little.  But in any case, you’re holding onto that, and you’ve refused to forgive that person from your heart.

Scripture says not to let the sun go down on your anger. Some of you have let hundreds and thousands of suns go down on your anger.  “But they don’t deserve it.”  I know. Believe me, I know that. But as I’ve said before, neither do you.

Does anybody honestly have the right to demand forgiveness from God? No one has that right and you don’t have the right to withhold forgiveness of others any more than you have the right to demand forgiveness for yourself.

Don’t let bitterness and un-forgiveness take root in your heart and rot your soul.  Bitterness is like an infection in your heart and soul. And who wants that stuff churning and coursing through them?  Nobody does. At least, no one should, and Scripture says we’re supposed to get rid of it.  When you choose to forgive and when you choose to drop the grudge, you are set free.  You may not think you can do it, because the hurt is too great. All I can tell you is that there are those who have had greater hurts than you who have been able to forgive.  They couldn’t do it, either.  Not in their own power.   They needed the help of God Almighty so they asked Him for the strength to forgive just as Christ had forgiven them.  And He did.  Bitterness is a chain on your soul. Break the chain by asking God to help you turn the page on your un-forgiveness.

Third… Turn the page on THAT sin.

What do I mean by that?  I think that in many, if not most people, there is something they’ve struggled with, and maybe even given up on conquering.  You know what that is for you.
Maybe it’s lying. Maybe it’s gossiping or breaking a confidence. Maybe it’s looking at that inappropriate material on the internet or TV or the DVD player. Maybe it’s letting your eyes linger on another woman. (Jesus calls that adultery, by the way…)  Maybe it’s just plain laziness – and not taking responsibility for what’s under your care. Whatever it is, you can start with this year to make it a thing of the past.

Ask God to help you get a handle on whatever that is, and to get hold of any resources that might help you move on.  You don’t have to be a captive to it any longer. Paul says in Romans that in Christ we’re set free – that instead we can be slaves to righteousness.

Scripture to Claim:

…for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.  I Timothy 4:8

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