Summary: We come up with all sorts of good New Year’s resolutions but often neglect our spiritual lives, which is really the basis for everything in our lives!
In a few days it will be a new year and many will be making resolutions.
Can you fill in the blanks for the following?
I’m too short for my weight, therefore,
in 2010 I’m going on a ______!
I now have too many friends calling me to pay my bills, therefore, in 2010 I will stick to a ______!
I would like to do more physical activities, therefore,
in 2010 I will do more ________.
My doctor said I might lose a lung, therefore,
in 2010 I’m going to quit _______!
You know, the Letter to the Ephesians calls Christians to a resolution about life. As we face the New Year, let us not just make resolutions regarding our physical, emotional, and financial lives, let us better our spiritual lives as well! Let us remember, our spiritual lives are always connected with all other areas our lives.
What’s awesome about the resolutions stated by God in the Letter to the Ephesians is that it is not based on a negative situation like many New Year’s Resolutions. God is calling us to live a certain way because of who we are as Christians, not who we are not. Christians are new Creations, no longer the way they were in the world.
Open your Bibles to the Letter to the Ephesians. Read along with me Ephesians 1:1-14.
If you’re a Christian, if you have faith in Jesus Christ, take note of who you are…..
And look at Ephesians 2:6……
Christians are positionally beside the Lord Jesus Christ!
Look Ephesians 2:22……
Christians are called to be a church for God!
Look at Ephesians 3:10…..
A Christian church is used by God to teach angels!
And look at Ephesians 4:11-13……
God gives every Christian a Spiritual Gift!
Would you bow your heads again for a moment and pray with me a prayer of thanks and commitment to God’s Word...
Read along with me Ephesians 5:1-7……….
God is calling us to live a certain way because of who we are as Christians, not who we are not.
As Christians we now belong to God, the Creator of the Universe, who loves us with an everlasting love.
And so, since Christians belong to God, Christians are to imitate God.
And how are Christians to imitate God? Ephesians 5:2 – Live a life of love like Christ loved us! How can we love people? – think of how Jesus loves you! Jesus loved by blessing us at His expense. With the reality of Jesus Christ in our lives, we can love others by giving of ourselves to God and to people. Jesus Christ is a fragrant gift to you and me, let us be a fragrant gift to others! Do people see us as a fragrant gift or someone they don’t even want to open?
We are Christians, bearers of God’s Light and Good News! As Christians, we are gifts to the world!
Christians are special gifts to the world because they are not like the world! In our society today, how easily can one get the gifts of sexual immorality?
In our society today, how easily can one get the gifts of impurity and greed?
Do we have to go far to hear obscenity, foolish talk, or coarse joking? All I have to say is Tiger Woods!
The world needs Christians who will give them godly gifts not worldly ones! Christians can only give godly gifts to the world as they imitate God. Christians can imitate God because they have God for them and in them!
Allow Jesus Christ to rule in every aspect of your life and you will be able to imitate God! Let the world see Jesus Christ through you as you yield everything to Him; then you will imitate God and be a fragrant gift the world!
Now look again at Ephesians 5:5-6……….
Does this mean if you sin as a Christian you can not go to heaven? If you take it out of context, you will be led astray!
Look back again at Ephesians 1:13-14………
And again Ephesians 2:6……….
As a Believer of Jesus Christ, your place in heaven is secured! But as a Believer of Jesus Christ, you are to say no to sin and imitate God!
Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
People whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of life are Christians and shameful and deceitful actions are not a part of Christians!
If we profess to be Christians bound for heaven, we are to live lives as citizens of heaven!