For this new year, I am resolved. I am resolved to change. I am resolved to make a difference. I am resolved to seek God.
I am resolved to change. That’s a tough one. On the surface, I’m not doing too badly. I go to church three times a week. I don’t cuss or spit in public. I don’t steal things. I’m not looking too bad. However, inside, I’m not doing quite as well. I feel like I pray about the same issues over and over. I ask God to help me change, but I don’t take the time to make the changes. I commit the same sins over and over and over. I don’t do things I know I should, so I pray that God will help me to do them. Then, I don’t do them again.
How about you? Are you in the same boat? Although God loves us anyway, it’s not okay for us to just keep on with things we know are wrong or omitting things we know are right.
Romans 6:1-2 says, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” If we are going to truly follow Christ, we have to put away our old sins and follow Him. That’s a big task, and God doesn’t expect perfection. That’s why, if we are baptized believers, Christ’s blood continually washes us. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” God forgives us over and over and over. Praise Him!
The verse that really gets me is James 4:17. It says, “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” Ouch. That really hurts. Don’t get me wrong. I sin. I get angry. I say things that I shouldn’t. I do things that I shouldn’t. However, on a daily basis, it’s the sins of omission that hit me the hardest. There are so many things I know I should be doing that I’m not. For 2013, I am resolved to fix that.
I am resolved to make a difference. There is a story that my preacher tells about a little girl on the beach. (Okay, it’s usually a little boy, but I wanted it to be a girl.) She discovers a shoreline filled with starfish that are on the sand, dying. She quickly starts throwing them back in the ocean, but there are thousands of them. She works and works and works, throwing them back in, but she doesn’t even put a dent in the number of dying starfish. Never-the-less, she keeps working. An old man comes along and asks what she’s doing. She says she is saving the starfish. He says, “Child, don’t you know there are just too many? You can’t make a difference! This job is too big.” The little girl looks at him and thinks for a minute. Then, she picks up a starfish and throws it back in the ocean. She says, “I just made a difference for that one.”
That has to be our attitude. We can’t change this whole wide world, but we can make a difference for one person. A simple smile, a kind action or a good deed can go much further then we can even imagine. You never know how your actions might affect someone else, and you don’t know what effect that person will have on the world.
Matthew 10:42 says, “And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded." How are you giving water to others? Are your words and actions refreshing them or drying them up? I am resolved to make a change, even if it’s just giving water to one little starfish.
I am resolved to seek God. I spend my days on the computer. Between editing (my real job) and blogging (my hobby/obsession), I look at my laptop a lot. I rarely stop and look around me, and I’m missing out. I am resolved to look up at the sky and see the stars at night and the clouds during the day. I will listen to the birds chirping and feel the warm sunshine on my face. I will experience God’s majesty in my everyday life.
Romans 1:20 says, “For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.”
God gave us the world around us so we could know him better. When is the last time you watched an ant at work? Have you ever found pictures in the clouds? Did you ever look at the bark of a tree up close? It’s fascinating, and it’s God. This year, I am resolved to seek God around me. -Al