Haaaaappy New Year!
I hope you all had a great time celebrating last night. I actually DID make it to midnight after 4 glasses of Martinelli’s! Whoo! I rang in 2013 with a bang- changing a poopy diaper. However, I did get a great New Year’s Kiss from my man!
For all who are joining me in the Daily Bible Reading Plan, here is the link once again. I hope you enjoyed your first day! If you are joining me and haven’t already let me know, shoot me a note on the “contact” page so I can pray for you.
Yesterday we talked about the first step in exploring our calling– realizing that we can’t know who WE really are without knowing who HE really is. This begins with Salvation.
So, He saves us, and then what happens? What do we do? The next piece in the puzzle of our “calling” is pursuing holiness. God has called you to be holy. “But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Tim 6:11-14).
This “good confession” is the one we make when we are saved. Romans 10:9 says “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” So salvation comes from faith (which is a gift of God), followed by a spoken confession of your belief. After that, Paul tells us to charge forward, fight a good fight, and take hold of the life that Jesus died for. The one that we are called to live. The one that we are supposed to keep without spot or blame until Jesus comes back (and He is coming back) again. How do we take hold of this life? We flee from “all this,” which in chapter six says is false doctrine, ungodly teaching, conceit, envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions, constant friction, and love of money. We flee from all ungodliness. We RUN from sin. We sprint toward godliness. What is your run looking like? Are you stopping to smell the roses? Are you going for a leisurely jog? Are you running in the wrong direction? Or are you using that Olympic-level strength that He’s blessed you with to press on toward the finish line?
You’ve been called to holiness. You’ve been commanded to fight a good fight. “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave” (1 Cor 9:24-25). I just LOVE this. Paul’s saying, look, when you’re in a race, you don’t run around all over the place. When you’re in a fight, you don’t just throw blows into the air. No, you beat your body into submission and you make it work for you. You use everything you’ve got in you to win the thing!
On Thanksgiving this year, our whole extended family had a very sophisticated and elegant evening followed by an intense arm-wrestling tournament. Now, when you arm-wrestle, you have to put every single ounce of focus you’ve got into pressing against the opposing force, who is doing the same. Loved one, you can bet your enemy is using everything he’s got to pin you down. Plus, he plays dirty. YOU, however, have been given much more inherent strength. But if you don’t use all of your might to focus that strength, to press against your opponent, your arm is going to start falling back. Press into Him, the One who gives you strength (Phil 4:13), and play to win. Cheaters never prosper. But if you want to win, honey, you’ve got to play the game!