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Trash the Resolutions. Cash in the Promises.

“God’s gold is not a miser’s money, but is minted to be traded with. Nothing pleases our Lord better than to see His promises put in circulation; He loves to see His children bring them up to Him and say, “Lord, do as thou has said.” {Charles Spurgeon}

It’s January.

And so our calendars begin with fresh, glossy pages, bearing no marks of tattering or stains that will, inevitably, come.

It’s the clean slate and fresh start we all need. We find, in the turning of the annual clock, a kind of freedom and rebirth. Perhaps last year was brimming over with mistakes, or hurts. Perhaps the marriage you should be thriving within bears down like a weighted blanket; or the financial goals got buried under piles of bills and unplanned crises; or the dreams to be a thinner, happier, more spiritual version of yourself blew away with the March winds.

January, The New Year, affords us the opportunity to throw off that blanket, close those decrepit accounts and dream big once more about doing things right…this time. Doesn’t it?

'Day 125' photo (c) 2009, Bastian - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

So there’s a lot of talk about resolutions, of their keeping and of their being broken. I have actually “revised” my lists before, making them a bit more attainable. I have written resolutions, refused to write them, ignored the tradition altogether–and usually with the same results: no great change.

Because real change doesn’t come with the turning of the calendar, but with the bending of the knee.

Real, sustainable life change isn’t achieved through de-cluttering our closets, signing onto a gym membership or setting the alarm and hour earlier (to make time for the elusive work-out and quiet time); but it comes through being acutely aware of the reality that our currency of trade is ragged and worthless.

Let me explain: We seek and lay hold of change when the fear of things staying the same is greater than the fear of the unknown that change brings.

I recently read of a young woman in her twenties who carried around and upon her frame 500 pounds. (I will find her story for you, I promise!) She was morbidly obese. She had resigned to her presumed fate of an early death following a predictable and lonely life of food and disgrace, loneliness and self-loathing.

But the words of an aging, dying man awoke something buried so deeply within her and shone a sliver of light within her soul.

“I’m so proud of you. I love you so much.”

The man? Her grandfather.

He simply spoke truth.

She says that she kneeled down, asked God for help.

And then she began walking.

Today, she is healthy and more alive than ever. The process of change, though it promised freedom, forced her to reconcile with past hurts and disordered thinking; there were hurdles and high points, to be sure.

When we bend the knee–exhausted by our own selves, filled up but so empty–we impress the ground of our reality with a most forceful blow: because we claim the promises of God.

I don’t know the date (though I’m sure she does), but it wasn’t based on the New Year changing. Her life turned and began anew because of that one man’s unconditional love and grace: he offered it to her freely, she chose to accept it.

Friends, God’s promises are for you. For you. Don’t deny him the opportunity to set you free when he’s demonstrated that all he desires is your freedom, your life made new and whole in the saving, gracious act of Jesus’ sacrifice.

Do you know what God promises you? If you did, it just might make you scrap that list of resolutions and rush to the throne room of God and cash in!

Here’s just a few:

Matthew 25:34

Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.”

1 John 1:9

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Romans 8:38-9

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of Gd that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

John 14:27

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do net let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

2 Corinthians 5:17

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

Luke 10:19

“I have given you authority to…overcome the enemy; nothing will harm you.”

Matthew 21:22

“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

Philippians 4:19

“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”

Matthew 12:50

“Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

2 Corinthians 12:9

“But he said to me,” My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

John 6:35, 37

“Then Jesus declared,” I am the bread of life. anyone who comes to me will never go hungry, and anyone who believes in me will never be thirsty. All that the Father gives me will come to me and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.”

John 8:31-32

“Jesus said, “If you hold to me teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

Luke 17:6

“If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.”

1 Peter 2:24-5

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and the Overseer of your souls.”

Revelation 22:20

“Yes, I am coming soon.”

Spurgeon goes on to say:

Do you think that God will be any poorer for giving you the riches He has promised? do you dream that He will be any the less holy for giving holiness to you? Do you imagine that He will be any the less pure for washing you from your sins? When a Christian grasps a promise…and when he hastens to the throne of grace and cries, “Lord, I have nothing to recommend me but this,”Thou has said it;” then his desire shall be granted.

Our heavenly banker delights to cash His own notes.

Never let the promise rust.

Draw the word of promise out of its scabbard, and use it with holy violence. Think not that God will be troubled by your importunately reminding Him of His promises. He loves to hear the loud outcries of needy souls. It is His delight to bestow favors. He is more ready to hear than you are to ask. The sun is not weary of shining, nor the fountain of flowing. It is God’s nautre to keep His promises:

Therefore, go at one to the throne with

“Do as thou hast said.”

What has God promised you?

Will we set our own resolutions or cash in at the throne of grace and get the good stuff?

What, really, do we have to lose?

Growing Home

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3 Comments

  1. What a beautiful post. I love love the reminder that change begins with bended new, not new years resolutions. May I bend the knee and let God change me. Thanks what a joy to read your blog. Many blessings..

  2. cynD smith says

    Thank you.. we tend to push and push.. when we just need to accept and cherrish what we have been given.. HIS name to praise and HIS gifts to be accepted and entrusted to our hearts, mind, soul, and body. Truly try to cash in on GOD’s faithfull ness and gifts and whole of HIS glory, mercy, and love…Than you again! I might just be able to press on to day and more.

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