As I was thinking about this being the time of year when people make new year’s resolutions, I was reminded of what a friend of mine said to me one time. She said “Trying to change yourself is like putting on a girdle (or spanks); it pushes in one spot and pops out somewhere else.” So true, we don’t really have the power to change ourselves very much and if we do, it seems to manifest in some other way. As Jesus said in John 15:5, “Except you abide in me, you can do nothing.” However, in verse 7, He says: “If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.” (AMP).
Sure, I would like to exercise more, lose weight, eat better, etc. and I’m going to try to do better at those things, but, more than anything else, I want to be more like Jesus. I want to have more of His presence in my life and help other people come to know Him or know Him better. So, that is my goal, to walk in close, vital union with Christ, day by day, moment by moment, hour by hour.
Jesus set that kind of example for us when He humbled Himself, took on flesh and blood and became a human being. Jesus said in John 5:19 “I assure you, mostly solemnly I tell you, the Son is able to do nothing of Himself (of His own accord); but He is able to do only what He sees the Father doing, for whatever the Father does is what the Son does in the same way [in His turn]. (AMP). Then again in John 8:28, Jesus said: “When you have lifted up the Son of Man [on the cross], you will realize (know, understand) that I am He [for whom you look] and that I do nothing of Myself (of My own accord or on My own authority), but I say [exactly] what My Father has taught Me.” AMP
It still astounds me to think about how Jesus put aside all the qualities that made Him equal with God (like being omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent, see Philippians 2:6-8), and became a human being (although He was still God). He limited Himself to being totally dependent on the Father while here on earth, the same way that we have to. So my prayer is:
Lord, help me to abide in you, to be more like You, to see other people through Your eyes. Help me to look past their faults and see their heart and their needs, the same way you do with each of us. Help me to be filled with all the fruit of the Spirit, which is: love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility ), self-control (self-restraint, continence). (AMP) In Jesus name, amen.
Our sinful, fallen nature is selfish. When we have an attitude and are not patient and kind to people, it’s because we’re not walking in love. When we’re not treating other people the way we want to be treated or seeing them the way the Lord sees them, then we are in the flesh. It’s been said that we may be the only Bible that some people ever read. They need to see Jesus in us. Lord, help us all to come up higher in 2023. I will leave you with this scripture:
Do all things without grumbling and faultfinding and complaining [against God] and questioning and doubting [among yourselves]. That you may show yourselves to be blameless and guileless, innocent and uncontaminated, children of God without blemish (faultless, unrebukable) in the midst of a crooked and wicked generation [spiritually perverted and perverse], among whom you are seen as bright lights (stars or beacons shining out clearly) in the [dark] world. Philippians 2:14-15 (AMP). May we all shine brightly for Jesus in 2023. God bless you all.
In Christ ~ Kelly Rowe