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The Ultimate 2018 Change

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Money magazine told about Richard Osgood, who has faithfully kept a New Year’s resolution that he made in 1936. Osgood resolved not to spend any pennies but to save them. Each time he purchased anything, he ended up with more pennies in his pocket. At the end of the day, he put them in a jar. When he had a hundred pennies, he opened a savings account. As soon as he was able, he bought stocks. Today, he has $33,057.11, directly traceable to his penny savings. He believes that he might be the only person in history to keep a New Year’s resolution for sixty years.

Look Up,

Colossians 3:1–4 ESV
1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Have you ever checked your focus? After many years of missing the target and realized my right eye is dominant. Try it now. Lift your right index finger and aim it on my face with both eyes open. Now close the open and then the other. If you left eye was dominant hold up your hand.
Similarly, we can do the same with our spiritual eyes. Except, this not to be a one time action. You see, the only way for a Christian to see life clearly is to focus on Christ.
Jonathan Edwards (October 5, 1703 – March 22, 1758), who prayed, Lord, stamp eternity on my eyeballs, offers 5 ways to keep our focus on heaven:
The only way for a Christian to see life clearly is to focus on Christ.
Don’t let your heart chase worldly things as your chief good. Worldly things are not your chief good in heaven or here.
Think often of heaven and what it is like. Communing with God is our business in heaven, likewise let it be here.
Be content in the sufferings you undergo on your way to heaven. The joy of heaven is certain and worth it.
Think of Christ and all that he is. Both now and forever, Christ is our motivation, example, mediator, interceder, strength, and victory.
Live a life of love toward God and men. Even now, let us live as citizens of heaven, which is a world of love.
To See Jesus

Seek Jesus,

Colossians 3:4 ESV
4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
I once heard a Denominational preacher say to me, that’s one of my flock. As followers of Christ we are all tasked with making disciples—sharing the good news of Christ with people and helping them grow spiritually. But it can be easy to get them to focus on ourselves instead of Jesus. Never take your eyes off Jesus. He is your only PASTOR. The shepherd of your souls.
1 Peter 2:24–25 ESV
24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Hebrews 12:2 ESV
looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Like the 3 wise men we should constantly be seeking Jesus. But no longer in a barn, but instead coming on a cloud.
How?
Read the Bible as you wake up
Start with a prayer
Write down one scripture to take with you
Listen to the acapella radio station as you have breakfast
Make an entry into a prayer journal
End the day by reading an online devotional

And Change,

What we take off,

Colossians 3:5–9 ESV
5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices

Immorality and Idolatry,

Colossians 3:5–7 ESV
5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them.

Anger, wrath, malice, slander, obscene talk,

Colossians 3:8 ESV
8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.

Lying,

Colossians 3:9 ESV
9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices

What we put on,

Colossians 3:10–17 ESV
10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. 12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

A new regenerating self,

Colossians 3:10–11 ESV
10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

Compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, & patience,

Colossians 3:12 ESV
12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,

Forgiveness & love,

Colossians 3:13–14 ESV
13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

God’s peace and thankfulness,

Colossians 3:15 ESV
15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

The Word, acapella singing, Christ’s authorized actions,

Colossians 3:16–17 ESV
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Branding and image consultants is all the rage. In reality what we need is not an external make over but an internal transformation.
Only Christ offers us true transformation—not just a facelift or an outward adjustment. Paul said that those who have been raised to eternal life in Christ “have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him” ().
New! What a tremendous word full of hope! Christ transforms us into new people in Him—people with a new heart, not just fixed up to look good on the outside.
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
The Spirit develops in us the clear image of Christ.
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