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Stories, thoughts and reflections on the Bible from the WSFC Staff.

New Year Discipline

January is that time of year when we again become conscious of the need to begin again.  The New Year Resolution mindset potentially effects many parts of our lives.  As we enter the last two weeks of the first month of 2018, are any of your desires for a new beginning starting to melt away? 

The trouble with fulfilling resolutions is this:  The honest desire felt on New Year’s Day can only survive and thrive through humbling discipline along the way.  Sandy is already asking me why I haven’t gone for my daily mile walk in the last week.  (Actually, It’s more of an annual thing.)  I chuckle at the comedian who says, “I set out this year to lose 20 pounds.  I only have 25 to go.”

It takes faith to accept the discipline you must follow in order to reach any worthy goal.  Mostly, discipline requires that you value the desired result, get up, and take steps forward. 

Not surprisingly, God’s Word gives us a number of examples, and a toolbox full of scriptures to inform, instruct and inspire us in the reality of discipline, not just for common resolutions, but for success in the Christian life.  His goal on the earth, until He concludes the drama of redemption, is to establish and operate a Kingdom that is not of this world.  Have you entered into faith in Jesus as your Savior?  Will you accept the discipline, guidance, and correction that He gives to every person who truly believes in Him?  Or, let me ask you, are you following Jesus as the Lord of your life?  His Lordship will include discipline.  Growth in discipline requires the work you do when you have faith in Him.  Consider a couple of passages in the book of Hebrews in the New Testament: 

“…the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:  …whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and scourges every son whom He receives.  If you endure discipline, God deals with you as with sons; for what sin is there whom a father does not discipline?  … He disciplines us for our gain and success, that we may be partakers of His holiness.  Now no discipline or correction seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”  Hebrews 12:5-11 (excerpts)

Are you resolved to grow and accomplish new and better things in your life this year?  Great goal!   Just remember the words of my old Pastor who often reminded us, “Ladies and gentlemen, it is always too soon to quit!” 

Pressing on with you,

Pastor Rich Marshall