DIY religion

31 12 2011

For many the beginning of New Year is a time of introspection, a time where we measure ourselves inwardly and outwardly. Some of us will be brooding over our 2011 successes – and some of us will be reminiscing over our failures! For some it will be the celebration of the end of a terrible year, and for some the celebration of an awesome one.

With the dawn of the New Year, many of us make ‘New Year resolutions’ which will be ‘militantly’ implemented from January 1st – or maybe just to be safe implemented from the 2nd!!! These New Year resolutions vary from person to person and may include signing up at the local gym or starting a diet. On the ‘’religious’’ side of resolutions may go, resolutions may include developing a habit of prayer, or consistent scripture

What is this phenonemen that we all know so well called New Year resolutions. There is a worldwide belief of self improvement. Wherever you look, we are bombarded with messages of ‘’doing it for ourselves’’. We have been taught that we need to be strong and motivated in order to succeed. This worldly perspective is rife within the ‘’church’’ and self improvement programmes are readily presented from the pulpit. This is because humans have a deep rooted desire to be able to be their own saviours by keeping certain laws and by doing certain things.

As far as New-Years resolutions go, we believe and hope that we will be able to reign in our flesh and become better people for it. The truth is however that after a few days and for the real tough cookies in our midst a few weeks, these New-Years resolutions always seem to fall away, when our ‘flesh’ conquers our ‘resoluteness’. As our resoluteness fades away,  with it comes guilt and condemnation. As far as scripture goes, how can this be possible? I mean the bible says that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus? So why do we feel so guilty and condemned?

I believe we feel like this because to a large extent, Christians have not heard the message of Christ in us. Because we have not heard the message of Christ in us, we are depending on ourselves to deliver and change into better stronger people. Maybe we should be called the DIY’S  (DO IT YOURSELFERS) and not Christians. As long as Christ is blatantly ignored from the pulpit, dependence on man is fostered. This will breed a culture of religious DIY ‘ers, who more and more rely on themselves for salvation. This is a vicious circle and the more we try and fix ourselves, the more we will fail, the more we fail, the more guilty and condemned we will feel, and the cycle continues….. The truth of the matter is that any self -effort that we expend using our human ability and strength to overcome this ancient foe of ‘flesh’ will surely result in defeat. These New Year resolutions are mere mental assaults on an undefeatable foe – our flesh.

So what is the answer? God knew that we cannot ‘’fix’’ ourselves. This is why His eternal plan is found in Ehesians 1:4 – to be in Him! In Him!!!! We are hidden in Him. To live is Christ!!!! He is living His life through us!!!! God proved throughout the Bible that man willl fail over and over and over and over again!!! Abraham failed, Moses failed, David failed and Peter failed. Every human being has fallen short! This is why God sent His Son in the image of sinful man……

The only salvation there is for us is ‘in Christ’ – for we are saved by GRACE! And this grace is a gift from God (that no man can boast in his flesh). Jesus Christ Himself came to die for sinful man. God did not send Jesus to fix and improve sinful man – he sentenced him to death, for the wages of sin is death. The only victory we have, is in the death of Christ. Paul says that we are reckon ourselves dead, and therein lies the victory. The victory does not lie in making resolutions for we shall eventually fail. We need to turn our eyes on Jesus – the Author and finisher of our faith. For He is strong when we are weak, He is victorious, He is our all and all. Christ is FAITHFUL, Christ is COMMITTED, Christ is ALL and All to us. It is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives IN ME!!!!!

So what is my New Years resolution? As Paul says, “that I may know Him, and the fellowship of His sufferings…..”

Happy New Year!!!


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