Shonebarger

We are moving into our New Year with anticipation of fresh opportunities and blessings. One of the popular resolutions people make each New Year is to focus on self-improvement.

Whether it is dieting, fitness or education, most of us seek to change bad habits and establish good ones. It is essential for us to grow in order to reach our goals. Change is what the New Year is all about. We should not remain stagnant. We should strive to eliminate the bad and embrace the good to insure we become what we were created to be.

In the Christian life, God is the architect of our spiritual change. There is a Biblical doctrine called “sanctification.” This is the process where the child of God is progressively changing, being transformed into the godly image of Christ, through the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

This spiritual growth brings glory to our Heavenly Father, empowers His children to accomplish His plan for their life, and to impact the growth of His Kingdom here on earth. The lifelong process of sanctification leads us to spiritual maturity in Jesus Christ.

There is an excellent Old Testament parable in Jeremiah 18:1-6 of God’s transforming process. God enables the prophet Jeremiah to observe the work of a potter (God). The visual object lesson for the prophet is that the potter works on the clay on His potter’s wheel, molding the clay into a vessel that was pure and useful for His plans.

However, the clay on the wheel Jeremiah saw (Israel) was full of impurity and not fit for use. God revealed to Jeremiah, that Israel was impure through their rebellion and sinful behavior. The potter would destroy that vessel and make a new one. Israel was warned by God to yield to His transforming process. Ultimately, through repentance and obedience, Israel would become the nation whereby God’s glory would be revealed.

God has each of his children upon the potter’s wheel, where the Holy Spirit continues to mold and make them into a beautiful vessel. God’s vessels (Christians) are to be free from pollutants (sin) that would prevent them from being made into a pure vessel, useful for His plan for their lives.

God has stated, “Be ye holy, as I am holy.” This is accomplished through the process of sanctification. Simply stated, Christians should focus on yielding to the leading of the Holy Spirit and become a godly servant of their Lord, Jesus Christ.

As we go forth into a new year, let me encourage every Christian to resolve to grow in grace and knowledge. To turn away from sins of the flesh and spirit. To yield to the work of God in our life through godly living. To read the Holy Scripture to learn the will of God. To become involved in the ministry of their church (or join one).

As the Body of Christ, let us endeavor to be a radiant testimony of Jesus Christ and impact our world for righteousness. Together, we will make a difference for all eternity! Have a great week and remember, God loves YOU!

Contact Jon at jonshonebarger@ gmail.com.

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