Friday, January 18, 2013

Focus for the New Year 2013

I have been wanting to write this post for awhile.  I don't know if anyone believes I'm that good at writing down my thoughts but in this case, I struggle to get out the thoughts that are in my head.  As I'm still working through what I think, I am going to give it my best shot.  It seems fitting today because my 7 year old Ivy prayed a prayer to accept Christ this morning.  She has asked me a couple of times, telling me she is ready and I have quizzed her until her little heart has been frustrated.  Is my little girl who I have prayed for since before she was born truly making a decision to trust Christ with her whole life?  Time will tell but I can tell that God has softened her heart and she is sensitive to Him.  

Last year, my focus was or new year's resolution( whatever you want to call it) was to get into the Word and really know my bible.  It was a sweet time and I learned a lot but I felt halfway through the year, the Lord was starting to show me a different area in my life that I needed to address.

It is no secret how I love my new church.  I love the teaching of my pastor, the music, the people, but one of my favorites has been my Tuesday morning bible study group.  As we have talked , the Lord has renewed in my heart a new love for the gospel.  That is why I wrote that post a while back about being the way that I am.  You see,  I, like so many of my friends have been a Christian for a LONG time.  I feel like the longer I was a Christian, the more I read and knew God's word, the more I thought,"All you need to do is believe and you will also DO......"  I was adding all of these extra things.  I really began to struggle with the thought of just accepting Him for what HE did for ME.  I thought, "OK He died for me and I need to do...."  But I was taking away the gift of what Christ did.  I was believing that Christ died for me but I still was giving myself this list of to do's.  Now here is the part you might struggle with as a Christian. Once you become saved, God calls you to a godly life.  But you are going to fail at that life, we are all still sinners, Christ paid the debt for that on the cross and I need to be FREE in that.  I feel like the older we are in the faith, we let other "things" creep in as SO important.  We give it them the same importance as what Christ did for us.  We DO because we love Him and what He has DONE for us.  I focused more on what I was doing, what others weren't doing, instead of  focusing on what was done for me.

When we truly know what Christ has done for us, we want to live a godly life because He didn't deserve to die on the cross for our sins but He did it in our place and we are grateful.  Repenting of your sins is a response to what He did on the cross.

I will never forget one Sunday before we had communion.  We were sitting there and my pastor said, "If you are a Christian and you have doubted your salvation because you look at your life and see failure.  It's because you are looking at the wrong person.  You are looking at yourself and seeing failure instead of looking at Christ and that He took all of that and died for you."  I wanted to cry, the gracious Lord showing me yet again, how selfish I am to always be looking at me and not at what He did for me.  It's all about Him and what He has done!

Honestly, I don't even know if I'm making sense.  That is why this is the focus of my year.  I don't want a list of to do's.  I want to get back to the gospel.  I want to fall in love with Jesus and sit in the sweet spot of gratitude for what He has done for me.  It's not about me, it's all about Him.  I want to release the pressure, fall in love with Him more and just serve Him out of love.  I'm praying that my Ivy does the same.

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