Happy New Year!

This week our guest writer is one of our iLove Elders, Perry Whitley. I hope you enjoy this week's Words for Wednesday!

Happy New Year!

That common phrase ‘Happy New Year!’ is one we have all quoted, declared, shouted, and/or proclaimed.

The New Year date, January 1, was started with the Julian calendar (i.e. Julius Caesar) and has migrated to what we know today as the Gregorian calendar (Pope Gregory XIII), but there are others, such as the Jewish new year, celebrated in September or perhaps the Chinese New Year celebrated in mid-February (new moon phases).  All having different directives concerning their celebration.

We of course have traditions with our New Year. Some of our traditions are staying up until midnight New Year’s Eve, wishing family and friends Happy New Year and/or, making resolutions for the New Year. Resolutions might be to have a better year, by starting a diet, and/or exercising more to lose weight.  Or, perhaps, by setting goals to perform better on the job, or to spend more time with friends and family. Or, perhaps, more time for yourself.  As Christians, we can always make a resolution to spend more time in God’s word.

New Year Resolutions have good intentions, but often are forgotten or neglected. No matter what the resolution is, or how hard we try, as humans we tend to go back to the ‘way things were’; never really ‘resolving’ our old habits or traditions.

God want us to be resolved to Him and His expectations. What we are to do, as Christians, is to show the world who we are and who we believe in. How do we do that?

In Romans 12:1-2, Paul wrote and explains to Christians, what to do and what to be what God intended us to be.

Romans 12:1-2 (NASB, 1995):  “Therefore, I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

1.    By the mercies of God
It is by God’s mercy, we have been saved.  He gave His son, Jesus, to die on a cross, so that we might have life. This gives Christians reason to serve God by:

2.    Present our bodies as living sacrifices, acceptable to God.
Giving God full control.  Being totally devoted to Him is being acceptable to Him.

3.    Spiritual service of worship
What we are called to do; WORSHIP HIM!  Being a living sacrifice, acceptable to God, is a form of worship! Worshiping God doesn’t happen only on Sunday, as we sing!  It should be with everything we do!

4.    Do not be conformed to this world
Can’t be a living sacrifice and be like the world. We are to live in the world, but not be of the world.

5.    Be transformed by the renewing of our minds
Allow the fact God has saved you, change (transform) your thinking (mind), to that of the Father! Renew your minds, so you are thinking of the Father and His will.

6.    To prove what the will of God is
Being different than the world, is proving/showing the world God’s will, which is;

7.    Which is good, acceptable and perfect (complete)
I couldn’t expand on it; God’s will is good, acceptable and perfect!(complete)

I am speaking primarily to myself, and am in no way, pointing fingers towards any of my iLove brethren. I’ve looked in the mirror the entire time I’ve been putting this together.

But, I do lovingly encourage you to think about what God has charged us to do, and your New Year’s resolutions, if you have any, have His direction to ‘present your bodies as living sacrifices, acceptable to God.’  We can never prove God or His will, using worldly standards; but by doing what is outlined in Romans 12:1-2, we can certainly prove God and His will, to the world.

It’s all about being obedient to God the Father, through the Holy Spirit, who is from Christ our Lord.

I hope you all have a Happy New Year!  May you be showered with God’s grace and peace!

These are your Words for Wednesday.

In Christ,
Perry Whitley

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