Happy New Year!
I hope that you all had a wonderful time bringing in the New Year and that you found some time to reflect on Christ’s sacrifice in the midst of it. He has made us new and it is a wonderful thing to meditate upon – any time of the year! I spent the night with a cold and, because of this, i had no motivation to leave the house. This resulted in a night in with God during which I stumbled upon the following verses, which seemed to perfectly fit the time of year:
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:12-14
So what had the apostle, Paul, not yet obtained but was striving for? Becoming like Christ in death; being made perfect. I’m teaching Leviticus this quarter and, as I get into the study of it, I am overwhelmed by the holiness of God. It is amazing that, through Christ’s sacrifice, He has made a way for us to obtain this, too! As I read, I find myself drawn back more and more to Ephesians 4 and 5, which talk about what the “new person” in Christ should be like, and what they should leave behind as the “old self”.
Yet what is our motivation to be for walking in obedience and holiness? It isn’t to earn our salvation or earn an eternal prize – we have already received these in Christ! No, we press on “because Christ Jesus has made (us) his own”!
So let us now walk in obedience to God, striving for holiness, as ones who have been approved by Him.
Here’s a few to dwell on (from Ephesians 4 & 5):
- Rather, speaking the truth in love
- Doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.
- Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up
- Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
- Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another
- And walk in love
- But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you
- Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking,
- But instead let there be thanksgiving.