Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday's Resolution {Living in Gospel Framework}

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We are picking apart Jonathan Edward's 70 Resolutions, one week and one resolution at a time. Don't forget to start where he did- "Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God's help, I do humbly entreat Him by His grace to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to His will, for Christ's sake."

18. Resolved, to live so at all times, as I think is best in my devout frames, and when I have clearest notions of things of the gospel, and another world.

My Paraphrase:

18. Resolved, to live at all times the way that I think I ought to when I am gospel centered and minded, and most in touch with the Lord.

In my day-to-day experience, there are good days and bad days. On the good days I am charged with energy and zeal, loving God and longing to be diligent in my roles of wife, mom, and homemaker. Then a bad day rolls in, and I am lazy, lethargic, and a waster of time- glued to my couch and iPod.

Do you find yourself on the roller coaster ride of good days and bad days? Maybe you struggle through strings of bad days, wondering if your life will ever look up.

Jonathan Edwards determined how he would live on his good days, and resolved to live that way no matter how he felt.

I wonder what that looked like? Obviously, the man had a sin nature just like the rest of us. I'm sure he had days where he really messed up- sunk into sin, struggled with despair. At the same time I look at the impressive legacy he left (numerous godly descendants, dozens of quality books and sermons, countless souls saved and strengthened in the Lord), and I know that he must have persevered through many a bad day.

One of my greatest struggles as a Christian woman is wanting to live by feelings instead of faith. I feel like taking an easy day, staying in my pajamas, drinking another cup of tea and reading a novel. I don't feel like attacking the messes around my house, making dinner, taking a risk and sharing the gospel with a neighbor, getting down on the floor and playing with my baby.

Feelings are up and down, shaky and unreliable. As Christians we aren't called to live by feelings, we are called to live by faith.

When we're thinking in a devout and Gospel-centered frame of mind, we long to read our Bibles, pray, do what is righteous and holy and good. We long to pursue God and the souls of men with passion.

Are you willing to continue on in these things even when you don't feel like it? When you'd rather serve self than God? When you're tired and worn down and the enemy is on your case?

Let's determine how we ought to live on our good days, set the bar high, and then continue to plow away, even when the bad days come.

*Getting up when the alarm clock goes off, so that we can have adequate quiet time with the Lord in reading and prayer- even though we're tired!

*Following through on what we said we'd do, fulfilling the roles God has called us to, even when circumstances are tougher than we'd expected.

*Sharing the gospel with people in our paths, fighting against embarrassment and the fear of man. 

Here's the good news ladies: In Christ, God sees me and loves me the same, good day or bad day. The only reason that I can walk on in a good way, by faith, is because of what Christ has done for and in me.

More good news: As I seek to live by faith, forsaking my feelings, God blesses me with joy. I've found that when I cry out for grace and strength to live as I ought, He answers me abundantly! Just start moving in the right direction, one foot in front of the other, and see if He doesn't meet you there. 

Will you resolve with me today to always live within Gospel framework? I hope so.

Pray for me too, that I would always live as I know I ought to when in a devout frame of mind! It's a daily battle, isn't it? By His grace, we press on.


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