The first sermon of 2011, at our local church*, gave me a fantastic ‘kick in the butt’!
The title was ‘Intentional Living’. The premise of the sermon was how so many of us go through the process of identifying New Years Resolutions… and how they rarely ‘pan out’. The thinking behind this is that Resolutions are simply ‘good intentions’… they are just ideas, but really do nothing to change behavior. Pastor actually said,
Good intentions do not bring about transformation or personal growth.
In contrast, Living Intentionally does.
If we are intentional in what we do, we will reach the goals that we set out of ourselves. Jesus modeled intentional living. Everything he did, he did with purpose. His life had purpose; he had a goal; and he did nothing that did not – in part – work toward his goal (which was to bring salvation to mankind).
Paul told Timothy to live intentionally… to train yourselves to be Godly. Paul told the Corinthians to train for Heaven just as you would train for a long race.
We must live intentionally so that God can transform us.
No one drifts into a life of discipleship. We need a purpose and a plan!
Here are four tips for living intentionally in 2011:
- You need a purpose… God already has one for you 😉 ‘To glorify God by becoming more like Jesus’. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Matthew 22.37″
- You need a plan… a way to grow love for God and others. This is best achieved through spiritual growth practices.
- Community – you must be in fellowship with other people. This is where you have the opportunity to practice love, patience, forgiveness, etc. (Col. 3:12-15)
- Worship – you must make worship a habit… and come prepared. Show up ‘prayed up’ and expecting to experience God and the love of Christ.
- Own your faith – you must be in the word. Don’t depend upon your teacher or preacher to provide you with your only ‘feeding’. You must be in the word… delving, mulling… allowing it to transform your thinking.
- Serve – just as Christ modeled serving others… you must do the same. Serve for Christ as if you were serving Christ.
Happy New Year. May this be a year that finds you growing closer to our Lord and Savior and firmly in his care and grip.
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