Resolutions

 It is only two weeks into January and I have already failed at some of my New Year's resolutions.  Every year I tell myself that I am not going to make any, since I know that more often than not the passion that I had when I decide that this is the year I am going to maintain an exercise routine, or this is the year I am going to read the entire Bible from cover to cover, or this is the year that I am going to tackle organizing my craft area....it tends to smolder out after a while.  And that grand plan I had....it just kind of fades into the background of every day life.

It's never a conscious decision to let the flames die out.  I just seem to get busy with taking care of the house, or my homeschool plan blows up with a 6 year old melt down because she "just can't do it" today, or any other interferences that pop up.  One thing leads to another and I suddenly realize that I haven't touched a piece of exercise equipment in days.  Or I haven't managed to read more than one or two consecutive Bible verses at a time without an interruption or distraction. Please tell me that I'm not the only one....

It's frustrating to lose your passion for your resolutions, but when is the last time you checked your passion level for God?  "Wait!" you say, "I do a LOT for Him!"  And you might be right.  From volunteering in the church, the community, giving money to a need, tending the needs of others etc.  You may very well be very busy being busy for God.  But I'm not talking about what you are doing for Him, I am asking you to examine WHY you are doing for Him.  
“I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people... You have patiently suffered for me without quitting. But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first!    ~Revelation 2:2-4 NLT
It is so easy to get in the habit of being a Christian that we forget what it is to BE a Christian.  It's all about love, first for God (Matthew 22:37-38) and second for others (Matthew 22:39).  1 Corinthians 13:1-3 tells us that no matter what we do, if it isn't done in/for love then it  has no value.

Remember when you first accepted the gift Jesus offers?  I do.  I was ON FIRE!  I wanted to do everything to please Him.  I spent time in His word trying to figure out who He is, what makes Him happy, what makes Him sad.  I was telling everyone about Him, how He changed my life, how He could change theirs.  I am sure I drove family and friends crazy.  And I am sure I am not alone.

When one of daughters first started studying scripture she would look up and ask (with a glow on her face and a sparkle in her eyes), "Did you know that Paul got to go and see the future and he wrote about it in Revelation?  How cool is that!" When is the last time you read Scripture and had to stop and say, "how cool is that!"?  I know for me, it's been a while.  I have found myself skimming familiar passages because I already knew that story.  Here's the thing though, God's word is living and breathing.  (Hebrews 4:12)  I have experienced it.

I've read a passage, made notes in my journal about how it spoke to me, only to come across the passage months or years later and get an entirely new revelation from it.  I KNOW this, and yet in my hurry to just read scripture and check that off my good Christian list, I have not allowed God to speak to me.  And when we don't allow God to speak to us, we can't be fed by Him, and when we aren't fed by Him, our passion wanes.  That is a scary path to be on.  Allowed to smolder long enough and a fire eventually goes out.

There is good news though.  Revelation 2:5 tells us that we can turn back to Him, we can rekindle our passion.  First we have to recognize that it isn't what it once was, and ask Him to forgive us for that.  Then we have to open ourselves up to Him, look for Him expectantly, have faith in His power to stir up a fire in us.  And finally we have to make Him the priority.  Luke 12:29-31 reminds us that there is no need to do otherwise. When we put Him first, He will take care of the rest.

So whether you, like me, have already found yourself behind on your New Year's resolutions on not, I encourage you to focus on the one thing that really matters, your passion for God.  Is it time to fan the flames and rekindle it?

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