Breaking the Cycle_1
My Asian friends have a saying that is worth knowing: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” Ah, yes…that first step. It’s tough, is it not? Do you recall your last year’s New Year’s resolutions? How many did you keep? How many did you start? It has been my experience that starting/beginning is the toughest part. As 2019 begins, what would you like to accomplish? How will you begin that? When will you begin? I believe it is critical for us Christians not to let the years simply roll by without accomplishment. “Stuck in the mud” is a poor way to have to describe one’s life. We humans are made to move, to accomplish, to succeed, to build, to earn, to grow…sedentary life is no life at all. We all know this. The purpose of this little article is to help motivate you towards a single goal and that is to take the next step with Jesus Christ.
Monday…How much do you know about the One called Jesus? Do you know that He is the pre-existent One (John 1:1)? Do you know that He is equal to the Father? Do you know that one of His titles, “Son of God”, is just that…a title? You would do well to thoroughly acquaint yourself with this One who claimed to be both God and Man. One good resolution for the next two months: read the Gospels through carefully and note the remarks at the bottom of the pages of your study Bible.
Tuesday…Have you run into the title, “The Angel of the Lord” and, “The Angel of His Presence” in your Old Testament? Do you know who that is? Take some time this week as you have resolved to know Jesus in a fuller, better way and do some research beginning with Genesis 16 where this One first appears in the Old Testament and see who this actually is. You will find that the preponderance of opinion comes down to this: this Angel is actually Christ before He came in flesh at Bethlehem. Now if you want to really have a good time, note all of the occasions in the Old Testament where this One appears. Guaranteed: you will come away with a new appreciation of Jesus as you take the next step(s) in seeing who He is.
Wednesday…Have you ever seen a group of people in lockstep one with the other? Sometimes we see this with dancers. Sometimes we see it in a parade or military exercise. It really is amazing to see dozens, hundreds or even thousands of people in perfect harmony/synchronicity/step with each other. That’s the way we want to be with Jesus. We want to take the next step(s) with Him. Oh…and don’t forget to let Him lead (Matthew 11:29,30).
Thursday…When we are in step with Jesus, we are out of step with the world. Figure on this: as you walk with Christ through knowing Him, obeying Him and walking with Him, you will lose friends and maybe even family members (John 15:18-27). Painful, yes…necessary…again, yes.
Friday…I have had occasion twice in my life to hire guides. One occasion was when I wanted to explore the Poteau swamp in SE Oklahoma. The guide was very nice but let me know in no uncertain terms that he was the boss/guide and I was to follow him. Period. That was fine by me as I had no idea what I was getting myself into by did know that there were dangers in that swamp. Jesus says that I/we can walk with Him, but He also wants us to know that He is the boss. That is also fine by me as I am just barely smart enough to know that I need help navigating this life. The really great thing is that if I walk with Him here and now, He will walk with me through the ‘valley of the shadow of death’ (Psalms 23). You can bet that comforts me immensely!
By Dale Holzbauer