Happy new year, my friends. Good to see you again!
I hope the holidays and the new year are treating you well.
I don’t know about you, but I love this time of year. It’s when we pause and say to the world, to each other, and to ourselves we want this year to be different.
There’s an excitement in the air. There’s deep hope. Tremendous anticipation. Our hearts beat fast as we imagine the possibilities of what could be.
Whether you officially made a resolution this year, I’m sure everyone reading this has probably made some kind of quiet resolution of wanting something in their life to be different this year.
I think resolutions are so important. No one ever changes on accident. But this business of becoming more human, growing, changing - it can be so hard.
Because of this fact, I’m certain that there are many of us who are already feeling the painful sting of shame for not being able to keep our resolutions for even a week. That thing we said we definitely we weren’t going to do, we did. Or, that thing we said we definitely were going to do, we didn’t.
It’s heartbreaking and I know exactly how you feel.
We resolve, we commit, we write it down, post it on our blogs, and yet we just can’t always seem to follow through. I suppose it’s no wonder, a recent NY Times article actually said that humans are made with a limited supply of stick-to-itiveness and willpower.
So then, maybe there’s something we’re missing here. Maybe we’re not supposed to be doing this thing on our own. Maybe we weren’t created to power-through - to dominate the world, or ourselves into change.
In the scriptures, Peter writes the following:
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. - 2 Peter 1:3,4
New Years resolutions often tend to be about us working hard, us making things happen, us digging deep, but as we’ve seen and possibly experienced already this past week, our powers are limited. I know mine are.
Throughout all of scripture, there’s a secret Jesus is trying to tell us:
God is right here waiting to help us become the people He’s made us to be.
We just don’t always realize it. We can’t accept it. We can’t believe it.
I mean what if this thing Peter describes as divine power is actually real? It seems like it would change everything.
So maybe what we need today, a good, healthy week into the new year, is to remind ourselves and each other that this divine power to become the people God created us to be, is real.
Perhaps it is true that God has already given us everything we need for life and godliness.
Perhaps it is true that God and his divine power is waiting here to help us become the people we desperately hope we will become this year.
This last weekend, I led our community in a time of prayer, inviting God and His divine power to literally infiltrate our lives and I’d like to invite you to do the same.
If you wouldn’t mind, I’d like to ask that you place your open hands on your lap. As we pray, we must realize that what we’re asking for is a gift to be received with open hands and not the clenched fists of mere will-power and resolve.
Let us pray.
First, for OUR RELATIONSHIPS - Our families and our friends. The broken relationships we endeavor to fix and the ones we’ve deemed unfixable. God we invite your divine power into this area of our lives.
OUR FINANCES - We thank you for the gift of resources; we realize every dollar is an abundant gift from you. We pray we will manage these gifts wisely. God we invite your divine power into this area of our lives.
OUR WORK - First for those of us without employment, we join with you now, praying for work to come our way. For those of us who find ourselves with gainful employment, we ask that you would be with us at our desks, in our homes, in our cars, on planes and in hotels, in our meetings, and in our conversations. God we invite your divine power into this area of our lives.
OUR ADDICTIONS & THE THINGS WE WRESTLE WITH - Whether it be sex, food, alcohol, drugs, or something else - we admit we’re all wrestling with something. God we invite your divine power into this area of our lives.
OUR DESIRES & DREAMS - For the desires in our hearts - the things we long to do, to get right, to be better at in the new year. For our deepest hopes and dreams. God we invite your divine power into this area of our lives.
OUR FEAR - For the fears that keep us from taking risks and from telling the truth of who we really are. God we invite your divine power into this area of our lives.
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them we may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.