As we enter the New Year, 2019, what are your New Year’s resolutions? Many people see New Year’s resolutions as silly goals that will fail in a few short weeks – if you are lucky. I personally love the idea of New Year’s resolutions. Mostly because they give me motivation. I love experiencing new things and any reason for me to do so, gets me motivated.
I was thinking about my goals for 2019: self care, becoming healthier, planning my future, etc. It began to sound like the list I make each December. Then, the other night I was reading Ephesians chapters 1-4, when I came across a passage that struck me.
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4: 22-24 NIV
The devil, the “master of deceit,” holds our old life (pre-salvation). In order to claim our prize, which is salvation in Christ Jesus, we must turn against our old lives, allowing the Holy Spirit to dwell within us, so that we may dwell in the heavenly realms. The Lord has already deemed us worthy of his gifts – a love that surpasses knowledge. To receive eternal and glorious riches, we must live a life worthy of the calling we have received.
What are the chances of winning the lottery? 1 in 300 million? What if I told you, you have already won the lottery? By believing in Christ Jesus, you have. If you have been keeping up with the Mega Millions lottery, you know the winner of the $1.5 billion has yet to claim the funds. Winning the lottery does nothing if you do not claim the prize.
Paul, the author of Ephesians, continues in chapter 4, on how we claim our inheritance in Christ Jesus. “He who has been stealing must seal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs that it may benefit this 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.” Ephesians 4:28-32
When I first read that passage, I thought to myself, “Wow God, that is a lot. And not only is it a lot, it’s difficult.” But, what if the conditions of claiming the Mega Millions were to follow those rules? I would fall in line immediately, and I’m sure most of you would, too. That is the master of deceit is working in us. We have been deceived that our monetary value define our eternal value. This. Is. Wrong. Our eternal value belongs in our inheritance in Christ Jesus.
Our God wants nothing more to love us and dwell within our hearts and minds. He forgives us for unspeakable acts and holds no grudges. We were “included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the reception of those who are God’s possessions – to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14
What will 2019 bring? For myself, I hope that it brings me closer to God and his truly magnificent inheritance.
See what I’m up to!