As we begin a new year, I invite you to choose to live your life in such a way that brings praise, honor and glory to God!
Here are nine suggestions as to how we, who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through faith, could live our lives this year:
Lead with love. Christ has placed each one of us in a position of influence or authority over other people. Each day choose to lead with Christ’s love, with a heart that desires to see the men and women you influence become all that God created them to be. Choose to lead with love, not expecting anything in return, for that is the way God loves us.
Let your light shine. God’s light shines in the darkest places. “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt 5:14). Shine your light wisely, with grace, humility, love and hope.
Listen without an agenda. When God brings someone into your life who has been wounded by evil stop and listen. You don’t need to have any answers. Allow the Holy Spirit to bring healing and hope as you hear the story of their pain and quietly walk beside them.
Live with kindness and compassion. It is very tempting when dealing with power hungry people, to want to see their destruction or demise. Power hungry people present a real challenge to us as we strive to follow Paul’s admonition in Eph 4:29-32 to not let any unwholesome talk come out of our mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Learn to forgive. Learn to forgive those who have brought evil into your life, knowing that the blood of Christ has cleansed you from all unrighteousness. You are able to stand in God’s presence because your robes have been washed white in the blood of the lamb. Confess the sins of the evil that you see around you, and ask God to forgive those who have been ensnared in evil (Dan 9).
Lift you’re your requests to God in Prayer. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16). It is very tempting to want to be the savior of the people who are damaged by a power hungry person or evil. However if we truly believe that Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb (Rev 7:10) then we can pray fervently for them. Our prayers rise as an aromatic incense to heaven, where God sitting on his throne, hears and answers every prayer. How do you expect God to act, if you do not ask God in prayer?
Live a life of praise. Take your eyes off the evil that you see around you and focus on the radiance of God. Offer praise and glory to God for Christ’s free gift of salvation. Praise God for the wisdom of his plan of redemption, and ask for God’s divine wisdom. Praise God that He is faithful to his promises and worthy of your trust even when surrounded by sin and darkness. Praise God for his power which is able to act! Praise God for his strength which has redeemed you and is able to redeem any situation.
Live filled with the Holy Spirit. Know that you are not alone. Jesus who stood beside the Sea of Galilee, and walked the streets of Nazareth, is the same Lord who walks with as you live by faith. Jesus is the same Lord you will meet at the end of your journey. The Father has sent the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name to you. The Holy Spirit will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all things that you learn as you study God’s word. (John 14:26).
Look forward with hope. Look forward with hope to the day when Jesus will return to claim you as his own. Holiness and love will prevail. At the end of your journey, when you stand before the throne of God, you will be joined by a countless multitude from every nation, tribe, people and language who also have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb!
There before the throne of God
Together in community with all the saints
we will serve him day and night in his temple;
And he who sits on the throne
Will shelter us with his presence
Never again will we know hunger
Never again will we be thirsty;
The sun will not beat down on us
Nor any scorching heat.
For the Lamb at the center of the throne
Will be our shepherd;
He will lead us to springs of living water.
And God will wipe away ever tear from our eyes (see Rev 7:15-17)
Father we thank you for the costly grace of Jesus who defeated Satan by his sacrificial death on the cross. Father, fill us with your Holy Spirit so that we can live grace filled lives. Father, we look forward with hope to the day when we will stand before your throne in glory. Amen