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Sunday, January 02, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

For decades the topic of New Year's resolutions has been so bandied about around this time of year, that I, for one, have come to dread it. Some people have said that they make New Year's resolutions on New Year's eve, only to break them on New Year's Day! I don't think I've ever been that bad, but I'm usually unaware of when I stop following through with my resolutions. Still, in the back of my mind nag those pesky wishes, desires and dreams that are ushered in with the confetti and firecrackers. And I find myself thinking, what if I could really lose those ten pounds this year? What if I could really stop eating chocolates and ice-cream? What if I could exercise four days out of every week?

What if ... Over the years I have come to realize the futility of those wishes and so I've stopped wishing and begun to ask God to give me the strength and the motivation to do what I need to do. And as I reflected on that this morning, the Holy Spirit laid it on my heart that He wants me to love Him more. "I do love you, Lord," I said. "I've been loving You ever since I was a child. Even when I knew very little about You."

Gently, He directed my thoughts to the kind of love He requires. The kind that Mary, Lazarus's sister showed to Jesus. This woman sat at His feet, drinking in His words, while her sister Martha busied herself being hospitable. Jesus said of Mary, "She has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her" (Luke 10: 42). While Jesus appreciated Martha's hospitality, he clearly considered the time Mary spent with Him to be far more valuable than what Martha did. When we love someone we want to spend as much time with them as possible, and I believe this is what God was saying to me this morning. Make time for Me; put aside your busyness and spend time with Me.

In His commandments the Lord said, "... I am a jealous God" (Exodus 20:5). He is jealous of all the "gods" we put before Him. The god of work, money, position, entertainment and all the many "gods" we create. We don't want to make God jealous, do we? Because if we do, He just might remove the "gods" that are taking His place in our lives. So there's my New Year's resolution. Learning to love God and spending more time with Him in 2011.

Lord, I love you, but I confess that my love has been weak and faint. I allow too many things to get in the way of spending time with you. Help me in this New Year to spend more time at Your feet so I can get to know You better and become more like You, in Jesus' name. Amen.
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