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December 30, 2009

Column #1,479

A New Year’s Resolution Worth Keeping

By Mike McManus

            MANDEVILLE, LA – I heard a sermon before New Year’s at Church of the King suggesting the most profound New Year’s Resolution I’ve ever heard.


            A huge RESTART button hung behind Pastor David DeGarno as he talked of “Renewing Spiritual Passion…The Bible says we can have a big Reset: `Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new,’” he read from 2 Cor. 5:17.


            And from Lamentations 3:22-23: “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”


            He suggested a “spiritual discipline of prayer, fasting and a discipline of daily Bible reading.”  The Bible “is not an out-of-date, culturally irrelevant book, just an historical account, a rule book, but an inspired true book. It is not a super-sacred book that we can’t understand.


            “It is God’s love letter to us.  We can find out who He is, and who we are, and why we need Him,” said Pastor Dave. 


            To understand the Bible’s purpose, he suggested we look at the last letter of  Paul to his protégé, Timothy: “All Scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17).


            He argued that suggests that the Bible reveals truth which is useful for doctrine, truths we can build our lives and faith upon.  For most people, Scripture reveals that “My life is a mess.  Our ways are not working.  Truth contradicts our life, our pattern of living.” 


            “Just as an athlete who is injured must retrain muscles, we must develop new patterns of living. Just as there are disciplines of getting better at any sport, we must commit to encounter the Word of God on a daily basis and apply it.  You will find as your mind is renewed the Word will retrain your thought patterns,” he reasoned.


            “Old thoughts like `You’ll never amount to anything.  You’ll never overcome this addiction’ – can be rejected.  The Bible says I’m not a failure, but an over-comer, a new creation. As we encounter the Word daily, and it changes our thoughts, it makes us more like Jesus.”

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