Christ in Us
I used to jump on the band wagon with all of the New Year resolution stuff, and like many I failed at a lot of them. There are many things folks attempt each year, like; to lose weight, quit smoking or complete a project to name a few. I would do okay for a month or maybe two and then other things became of greater importance to me and my resolution sort of fizzled out like a dud firecracker. But now I have only one resolution, and it's the same every year; to allow Christ to be more fully formed in me.
What is a New Years Resolution? Is it an annual reminder of those things that we would like to do but never really get around to doing? Perhaps it is merely a self improvement opportunity. It seems that a lot of folks attempt, at the beginning of each new year, to change something about their lives or themselves that they are not happy with. If you are like many you may tend to lose interest in your resolution after a month or so, or you just can't find enough motivation to give the decision impetus.
A resolution is by definition; "a course of action determined or decided upon", or "the state of being resolute".
As followers of Christ we must many times (most times daily) renew our decision to die to ourselves that we may live in and for Christ, following the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Even the Apostle Paul found it necessary to "...Die Daily..." (kill self will) so that Christ could be better formed in him.
Here is another definition used in photography for the word; resolution: "The fineness of detail that can be distinguished in an image".
The Bible tells us that as Christians we are predestined by God to be conformed to the "image" of Jesus Christ, the Son.
"For whom he did foreknow, he also predestinated to be conformed to the image of his Son..." Romans 8:29
Back in Genesis, mankind was created in the image of God, yet that image was marred by sin, the "fineness of detail" was lost. As the redeemed in Christ, we now have the opportunity for that image of God to be restored in us! Placing our faith in Jesus Christ for our salvation justifies us in God's sight. But that is only the first of three phases of salvation. We are now being sanctified or growing to be holy, becoming like Christ.
The final phase of our Salvation; the redemption of our bodies, shall take place when Christ returns. We shall receive a new spiritual body like His, and our Sanctification will be complete. What an encouraging truth this is!
How fine tuned is the image of Christ in us? Can others see Christ in every detail of our lives? As we look to our hearts, do we see a picture with great resolution of the Son of God?
The beginning of a new year is a good time to reflect on how well the image of Jesus was portrayed in our lives over the past year. It is also a good time to renew our resolve to allow the Holy Spirit and God's Word to form Christ more fully in us, throughout the coming year.
One day the image of Jesus will be perfected in us "with fineness of detail" when we shall be "Raised incorruptible". (Read 1 Cor. 15:51-58)
Until then, let's joyfully continue to renew our resolve to walk in the Spirit, in close communication with God that His image may shine forth, reflecting His light and love to the world around us. May our resolve be strong.
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