We have been remodeling our 55-year-old kitchen. The project has involved a lot of research … I then had to brace myself for the sound and sight of the old being smashed, torn out and discarded.
Now I am focused on executing the plan, … knowing I will need perseverance to see the project through to completion.
In some ways, my life is like our kitchen. And in this new year I have decided to survey the condition of my life. Isn’t it time you surveyed the condition of your life? Then join me in this New Year’s resolution that lasts a lifetime.
RESEARCH YOUR PROJECT … By Remembering the Saints
Hebrews 12:1 says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (NIV).
- Enoch and Abraham are two saints named in Hebrews 11 that can serve as an inspiration and example for your life:
Hebrews 11:5-6 says, “By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (*Also see Genesis 5:21-24.)
Hebrews 11:8-19 says, “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the Promised Land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents … For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. By faith Abraham, even though he was past age–and Sarah herself was barren–was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.” (*Also see Genesis 12:1-5.)
- What one characteristic did each of the saints listed in Hebrews 11 have in common? What do you need to do to make it a defining characteristic of your life?
- What do you think was the motivation for these saints to live as they did?
TEAR OUT THE OLD … By Repenting of Your Sins
- From the following verses, list things that can hinder you from living out your commitment to Christ:
- “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money” (Matthew 6:24).”For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).”Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels” (2 Timothy 2:16, 23).”Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world” (1 John 2:15-16).
- What other specific things are hindering you?
REPENT OF ENTANGLEMENTS
- Describe practically how you will obey the commands in Colossians 3:5, 8-10:
- “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. … But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”
REFOCUS ON HIS PURPOSE
- What do you need to build into your life to make sure that you see your project through to the end so that you finish well?
- Hebrews 12:2 says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
REFOCUS ON HIS PERSON
- What evidence do we have that Jesus, as the Author of our faith, lived by faith when He was on earth?
- Matthew 4:1-4 says, “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.’ Jesus answered, ‘It is written: Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (*Also see John 1:1, 14; Philippians 2:6-7; Hebrews 2:10, 4:15.)
REFOCUS ON HIS PERSEVERANCE
- What was the specific purpose for Jesus’ life? (*Also see John 3:16, 14:6, 17:2-3.)
- Matthew 1:21 says, “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
- Was Jesus’ purpose easily accomplished?
- What do you think was Jesus’ joy? (*Also see Zephaniah 3:17; Luke 15:7.)In Matthew 13:44, Jesus says, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”
- Having surveyed the “kitchen” of your life, are you long overdue for …
a major overhaul?
a clean sweep?
a limited remodeling?
or simple, minor repairs?
- After doing the “research,” why don’t you begin today with the tear-out, keeping your focus on the end result, which is a fresh, more efficient and effective lifetime commitment that brings God glory as it reflects His Son, Jesus?