Monday, January 5, 2009

In the Beginning God CREATED…

As we begin 2009, a NEW YEAR, what does God want to do in you and through you? Have you asked Him? And if you asked Him, have you listened to what He is speaking to you?

This past Thursday, January 1st, as I was reading Genesis 1:1, the Holy Spirit began to speak to me about that verse. I have read it for years, and I have been thankful that "in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." But something was different as I read it this time. I felt the Holy Spirit nudging me to linger on that verse for a little while. I read it again, and again, and again. I got still and mediated on it…then, the message came to me loud and clear. In the beginning God created…at the BEGINNING of this New Year, what is God wanting to CREATE in me? You see, God's very nature is creator. He is the creator, always has been and always will be. However, we get locked into "status quo" and see very little creation or change in our lives, families or churches for years and years. That goes against who God is. I am so thankful that He is the Creator, and He is still creating.

The question for each of us is, "God, what do you want to CREATE in me at the beginning of this year?" That is what I asked Him the evening of January 1st, and I would like to share with you, in the form of an acrostic, what I felt Him speak to me:

Caution in my daily decisions

I need to guard my daily decisions for many reasons. One of them being, people are watching my life and my character. After Jesus died from being crucified, and actually had already risen from the dead, Simon Peter got so troubled by everything that was going on, he decided to go back to his old way of life…fishing:

John 21:3 "I'm going out to fish," Simon Peter told them, and they said, "We'll go with you." So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

The problem was this. He didn't go back alone. Other's followed him. My friend, when you begin to drift from Jesus in your heart and commitments, you do not drift alone. You take someone with you. God wants to CREATE caution in our daily decisions so that we will not live carelessly.

Recommitment to the basics

Psalm 119:32 I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.

The late Adrian Rogers said, "Friend, a sermon on Sunday is designed to whet your appetite, not to feed you for a solid week."

There are too many people who are running around trying to figure out when the end of the world is going to happen. Trying to find something NEW and DIFFERENT from the Word of God, when what God wants us to do is to LIVE what we already know. If we would just return to the basics: reading God's Word daily; be faithful in attendance and giving to the local church; loving people as we love ourselves, then we would make a major difference in our families, church, community and world.

Excitement about the imminent return of Jesus

As Christians, we should be talking daily about Jesus' return. The Word of God tells us that when we have this hope, it causes holiness and purity to take place our lives (I John 3:3). We live daily with the goal of pleasing Jesus through our daily decisions and we have more of an urgency to share the fact of Jesus' love with those who have yet to experience the awesomeness of His salvation. My friends, Jesus is truly coming back soon, and we need to be talking about that fact with our neighbors, co-workers, and families.

Aggressive attack against discouragement

"And it came to pass, when David and his men returned, they found that the Amalekites had invaded Ziklag and burned it with fire; and they took the women captives and carried them away. Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they could weep no more. And David was greatly distressed; for the people spoke of stoning him, for the people were grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters … but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God" (1 Sam. 30:1-6).

David needed encouragement in the midst of his battle. However, there was no one able or willing to encourage him, so he encouraged himself in the Lord. I shared yesterday that I have battled discouragement in the past three months or so in my life. I have asked the Lord to CREATE in my life an AGGRESSIVE attack against discouragement.

Take responsibility to a higher level

1 Corinthians 4:2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.

Esther 4:12-16 When Esther's words were reported to Mordecai, (13) he sent back this answer: "Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape. (14) For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" (15) Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: (16) "Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish."

I am amazed at how careless people are in their church attendance and in their giving. There are some people who will make every excuse in the world to not go to church, yet they can't stay away from Wal-Mart, the grocery store, camping, fishing, etc. Nothing wrong with these things in and of themselves, I am just attempting to show how easily we can be swayed to not be faithful to God's house. The Word of God tells us this in Hebrews 10:25:

Hebrews 10:25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one anotherand all the more as you see the Day approaching.

God tells us that we should fight the bad habit of unfaithfulness. It is an encouragement for you to go to church, and you need it more and more in these last days. As good as Christian television CAN be, it was never meant to take the place of the local church. You need that fellowship. As a pastor, some of the discouragement that I have battled has been people that I love and respect disregarding the importance of church attendance. It is amazing how we cry and whine to God about our problems, but we don't want to sacrifice anything for Him. Some stay home on Sunday night to watch a favorite show, or go to a movie, etc. My friend, I want God to create in me a greater sense of responsibility and faithfulness to His Church.

Exemplary Christ like living

I want my life to be an example of Jesus' grace and mercy. I have asked God to create this within me this year.

How about you? I have listed an acrostic for you below. Would you take a moment to ask God, "what do you want to create in me this year?" Blessings and I love you guys.

Six things you want to see God CREATE in you this year:








SpiritledWoman said...

Wow! What an awesome post. Thank you for sharing.

LAURIE said...

I have linked your post tonight on my blog as I shared from my heart what God spoke to me last night in service. Hope you are feeling better today. -Blessings, Laurie