First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com

Out of reverence to Christ.

January 1, 2016

    Much like trying to put toothpaste back into the tube is the task of mending someone injured by my harsh actions or words.  Many times in the past I had thought and said words that should have been filtered through the heart of Christ before releasing.  My actions were cruel and unfriendly. I had not only sinned against God but people too.  I am nearer the heart of God now and still find times when I betray God's grace and mercy with my failures. The following verse brings me comfort this first day of a new year. 

    

        "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock

        and my Redeemer." (Psalm 19:14, NIV)

 

    I claim God as my Rock and Redeemer and therefore resolve to offer my body as a continued "living sacrifice" (Romans 12:1b). I desire to please the Lord with my life, the choices in that life, and my words and actions. This is a decision I am making. I can pray for God's guidance and provision that I be a living sacrifice (till I am blue in the face) but until I step forward to act upon the godly intentions of my heart then nothing of holy value will occur. God respects my freewill and won't bludgeon me into holy living. I have to choose. There are no magic wands of godly guidance here; just a well intentioned action on my part in response to God's invitation. 

 

It has been said, "Whatever you do on New Year's Eve into the new year, you will do throughout the new year."  I actually was sound asleep at midnight December 31st and while I don't plan to sleep through the coming year, I do see some credibility in the old saying.

 

I suppose if it were possible to rewind the clock of our lives, we would exercise that option to right a lot of wrongs and mend a lot of wounds. Our harsh words and actions are much like water flowing under a bridge. Once the water goes downstream, it isn't coming back.  The fact is, injured hearts and minds can be healed but scar tissue remains.  At the start of a new year, let's consider how we will actively engage our world and how our life can be used by God in order that the offering would be pleasing to God and edifying to humanity (family, friends, coworkes, etc). Let's weigh each motive, thought, word, and action in accordance with God's will — his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:2b, NIV).

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