RIGHTEOUSNESS, PEACE and JOY in the Holy Spirit. “Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Romans 14:16-17 NKJV
I am not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. In my experience, they are never kept. The new year is just another day and I esteem all days alike, (except my birthday). But I do believe it’s a good time to reflect. I tell my ladies to look at their growth in increments, like how you would measure a child’s height. “I’ve grown *this much* since last year”. You can get discouraged if you try to examine your growth too close together, but over a year you can get a better picture.
How much have you grown? What things (bad habits, toxic relationships, sinful behaviors) has the Holy Spirit weeded our of your life over the last year? What new growth has He produced in you? How has your life changed for the better? I’m NOT talking about your situation, some circumstances take years to change; I am talking about YOU. How has your attitude and mindset changed? Have you grown closer to the Lord through prayer, worship, fellowship with the Saints? OR are you STILL stuck in your same mindset? Do you continually go around that SAME mountain, singing your SAME song?
The child of God should ALWAYS be growing and developing in Him. Are you STILL on the bottle and wearing diapers and you are almost six years in the Lord?? Or are you armored up and ready for battle? Take a good, long look at your reflection. “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.” James 1:22-24
What’s changed in you? Reflect on the above Scripture- “the kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost”. Is your life lived according to His righteousness? The governing principle of grace lies in righteousness and true holiness. Do you seek to live with clean hands and a pure heart? The new man is created in righteousness, where God’s laws are written on the heart and we desire to honor and obey Him in truth. His revealed righteousness teaches us to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present evil world.
Are you at peace? Peace with God through the blood of Christ and “concord” with man and our brethren. Are you a divisive person? One easily offended who spreads strife and discord? Divisive people are not in His kingdom. And joy, “the joy of the Lord is my strength!” Are you full of joy? Are you a sour-faced, bitter person? Joy is not about your circumstances, but a firm faith and hope in Him, His Word, His promises that everything’s going to be all right. All my hope, all my strength is in Him. HE is my joy. He is my portion. He is my pleasure. My joy is in the Holy Spirit which He has given to those who love Him and obey Him. Praise God for this unspeakable joy!
Reflect on this last year- how much have you grown? If you are still the same and nothing has changed, then why? We should always be growing and maturing in Christ. If you have been stagnant, or worse, receded; there’s a problem. Repentance is necessary for good growth. Let the Spirit get to the root. Time to do some weeding and fertilizing. Maturity is necessary for what’s coming. This new year is going to get bumpier. #runyourrace
To Learn More About Pastor Crystal please visit the Leadership Page