Friday, January 02, 2015

Daily Encouragement (01/02/15) "Our Greatest Resolution"

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Friday, January 2, 2015

2 Corinthians 5:9 with Wisconsin winter scene (Photo by Georgia)
Wisconsin winter scene
Photo by Georgia

"Our Greatest Resolution"

Note: No podcast today, couldn't get microphone to work!!!

"So we make it our goal to please Him" (2 Corinthians 5:9).

I am resolved no longer to linger,
Charmed by the world’s delight,
Things that are higher, things that are nobler,
These have allured my sight.

New Year's resolution
Many of you have already made resolutions for the New Year. A turn of the calender page from December to January signals a new year and seems like a perfectly good time for a new start.

The word "resolution" is cousin to "resolve" and people resolve or set a goal(s) regarding matters important to them. All through our lives we lay out goals for what we want to accomplish, whether financial, health-related, spiritual, career oriented, and so forth. Undeniably, many will make fitness and weight loss goals they forsake by week's end!

But today we consider the greatest resolution for the believer. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:9, “We make it our goal to please Him."  This is a resolution that the Apostle Paul had made for both himself and his readers when he used the pronoun "we". As part of the Holy Scriptures we are included in this resolution!

The Amplified Bible expresses this sense well: "We are constantly ambitious and strive earnestly to be pleasing to Him."

Philippians 3:13,14The word translated "goal" means "to devote oneself zealously to a cause". Elsewhere Paul writes, "I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:14).

Ravi Zacharias challenges followers of Christ to follow the model of many corporations and local churches and develop a personal mission statement. Many years ago I formulated my own. The difficulty for me in this matter is staying succinct since there are so many desirable Scripture verses I'd like to incorporate into a mission statement. Here's the one I have used for many years:

"I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

A great pursuit in life for the redeemed is finding out what pleases the Lord. By God's grace it remains a simple expression of our greatest resolution in life. The quest to find out what pleases the Lord is ongoing. Although God's written revelation regarding what pleases Him is unchangeable, new challenges in different contexts and historical periods are always set before God's people. Doing the right thing requires discernment and resolve, while building a solid foundation based upon that which you find God prohibits and that which pleases Him. Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:10, "Find out what pleases the Lord."

Among our resolutions for 2015 let's make pleasing the Lord our greatest one!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, I make it my goal to please You. So many worthy goals I set last only for a season, and the rewards may last only for a season as well. But when I make a resolve to live righteously, making every effort to please You, my rewards will last not only for this life, but for all of eternity. In setting my goals help me to be willing to lay aside that which hinders and the sin that so easily entangles so that I reap a harvest of righteousness, peace, and joy. I want my primary goal to be that of perseverance so that no circumstances in life will deter me from my daily walk with Christ. Above all I want to spend my whole life finding out what pleases You and carry it out as the Holy Spirit enables me. It is in Jesus' name that I pray. Amen.

Following are a selection of the spiritual resolutions written by Jonathan Edwards before age 20. Edwards preached "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" in 1741 in Enfield, Connecticut which was the start of the Great Awakening:
  • "Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly entreat Him, by His grace, to enable me to keep these resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to His will."
  • Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to the glory of God, and my own good, profit, and pleasure... To do whatever I think to be my duty... for the good and advantage of mankind in general. "
  • Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body less or more, but what tends to the glory of God...’
  • Resolved, never to lose one moment of time, but to improve it in the most profitable way I possibly can.
  • Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.
  • Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.
  • Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly, and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive, myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.
  • Resolved, never, henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God’s.
  • Resolved, never to allow the least measure of any fretting or uneasiness at my father or mother.
  • Resolved, (That) there be something of benevolence in all I speak.
(Edwards resolved to read these resolutions over once a week!)

1915 New year's resolution postcard
I came across this postcard from 1915

Today we received a prayer that really blessed us from a newer friend. What a great way to encourage others by writing a personalized prayer!

"Dear Lord, thank You for Stephen & Brooksyne. Thank You for giving them both a heart to encourage people and to tell people about You and Your Son, Jesus. Thank You for sending Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, so that we can be forgiven and live with You in eternity. I pray that you would provide encouragement for Stephen & Brooksyne. Bring other people into their lives who will love and encourage them in their ministry. Keep their marriage strong and give them wisdom in all that they say and do. I pray that you would protect their thought lives and that you would keep Satan from having any foothold in their lives. Please give them health and perseverance as the continue to strive to do Your will in every area of their lives. Thank You for how You are going to continue working through both of them to bring honor and glory to You. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen."

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“I Am Resolved"  Video  Dailey and Vincent

"Press On"  Video  Selah

When the mountain is steep
when the valley is deep
when the body is weary
when we stumble and fall

When the choices are hard
when we're battered and scarred
when we've spent our resource
when we've given our all

In Jesus name we press on
In Jesus name we press on
dear Lord, with the prize
clear before our eyes
we find the strength to press on

"Set My Eyes" (Philippians 3)  Video  Musicians not specified but nice selection of Scripture set to music!

Today's opening photo was taken by my cousin Georgia who lives in Wisconsin. She posts her photos here.

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Stephen and Brooksyne Weber 38th anniversary photo (click on photo to enlarge)Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
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Our other blogs:
"A Daily Prayer" - A blog simply posting the daily prayer. We keep this up each day since it's merely the prayer from the Daily Encouragement Net message!
"A Little Foolishness" - Humor/satire blog (a great outlet for non-serious writing but at times with a subtle message!) (Note: This material is satire!)
"Clear Minded" - Longer, periodic articles on specific issues impacting the faithful believer and church. (Actually this is my intent but I haven't done much with it!)
"Hymns of Hope" - Brooksyne along with two friends made a CD using classic hymns. Brooksyne tells the background story of the 11 hymns. All of these songs are also available for download on the site.

Personal Mission Statement "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

Four Spiritual Laws

How to become a child of God

Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Other versions are also occasionally used.

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