A Lifetime Resolution: Remodel Your Life
January 1, 2004 - "Into the Word," a Bible study by Anne Graham Lotz, is designed to draw you into God's Word. Although the study-question format may be more challenging than one might find in an article that provides all the answers, we believe that this format will help you to discover a treasure of truths and insights from God.
by Anne Graham Lotz
We have been remodeling our 55-year-old kitchen. Because of the increasingly busy pace of my life, I had let things go until there was no practical remedy except to tear everything out and start over. The project has involved a lot of research on kitchens to see what is available. I then had to brace myself for the sound and sight of the old being smashed, torn out and discarded. Now I am focused on executing the plan that has been prayerfully and painstakingly laid out, knowing I will need perseverance to see the project through to completion.
In some ways, my life is like our kitchen. And in this new year I have decided to survey the condition of my life to make sure I'm not letting things go until drastic change is required! In my recent study of the Book of Hebrews I have been challenged to research the lives of others as role models for my own life, to tear out and repent of sin that impedes the effectiveness of my Christian life, and to refocus on the goal of a life lived for God's glory and honor, a life that brings Him pleasure as it reflects His own Son.
Isn't it time you surveyed the condition of your life? Then join me in this New Year's resolution that lasts a lifetime.
RESEARCH YOUR PROJECT ...
By Remembering the Saints
Read Hebrews 12:1
- From the following Scriptures, list one or more outstanding characteristics of each of these saints named in Hebrews 11 that serve as an inspiration and example for your life: Abel—Hebrews 11:4 and Genesis 4:1-8; Enoch—Hebrews 11:5-6 and Genesis 5:21-24; Noah—Hebrews 11:7 and Genesis 6:5-22; Abraham—Hebrews 11:8-19, and Genesis 12:1-5; Isaac—Hebrews 11:20 and Genesis 22:1-14; Jacob—Hebrews 11:21 and Genesis 32:22-32; Joseph—Hebrews 11:22 and Genesis 37:23-28, 50:15-21; Moses—Hebrews 11:24-28 and Exodus 4:1-12; Joshua—Hebrews 11:30 and Joshua 3:1-8, 10, 14; Rahab—Hebrews 11:31 and Joshua 2:1-14, 6:20-25.
- What one characteristic did each of these saints have in common? Give the phrase from Hebrews 11 that emphasizes the importance of this characteristic. What do you need to do to make it a defining characteristic of your life?
- What do you think was the motivation for these saints to live as they did? Give phrases from Hebrews 11 as the basis for your answer.
By Repenting of Your Sin
REPENT OF HINDRANCES
- From the following verses, list things that can hinder you from living out your commitment to Christ: Matthew 6:24; Matthew 6:25-27; 2 Timothy 1:7; 2 Timothy 1:8; 2 Timothy 2:16, 23; 2 Timothy 4:10;
1 John 1:6; 1 John 2:15-16; Revelation 3:15-17.
- What other specific things are hindering you?
- What will you do today to "throw off everything that hinders" you from living a life pleasing to God this year?
- What sins are tripping you up now and will continue to do so this next year as you seek to live for Christ? List the sins named in Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 4:25, 31; Ephesians 5:3-4; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; Revelation 2:4. Which of these sins are entangling you? Ask God to reveal any other sin that is preventing you from living a life pleasing to Him.
- What similar command is given in Hebrews 12:1; Ephesians 4:22; Colossians 3:5, 8-10? Describe practically how you will obey this command.
By Refocusing on the Savior
Read Hebrews 12:2
REFOCUS ON HIS PURPOSE
- What phrase indicates how long your "remodeling project" will last?
- What do you need to build into your life to make sure that you see your project through to the end so that you finish well?
- What phrase indicates that God has a specific, unique purpose for your life? How does Ephesians 2:10 confirm this?
- What is God's ultimate purpose for your life, according to Ephesians 1:5? Romans 8:29?
- What do you believe is the specific race God has marked out for you that enables you to fulfill His ultimate purpose?
- What evidence do we have that Jesus, as the Author of our faith, lived by faith when He was on earth? See Matthew 4:1-4; John 1:1, 14; Philippians 2:6-7; Hebrews 2:10, 4:15.
- How does Jesus' own experience of living by faith give Him credibility in your eyes as you seek to do the same?
- How does Philippians 1:6 encourage you that He is not only the Author but also the Perfecter of your faith?
- How does Hebrews 13:7-8 encourage you when you reflect back on the saints in Hebrews 11?
- What was the ultimate purpose for Jesus' life, according to John 17:1, 4? What was His specific purpose, according to Matthew 1:21; John 3:16, 14:6, 17:2-3? Was this purpose easily accomplished, according to Hebrews 12:3-4?
- What are some of the obstacles Jesus faced as He ran His "race," according to Matthew 4:1-2, 8:20, 11:2-3, 12:22-24; John 8:56-59; Matthew 16:21-23, 26:1-5, 26:14-16; John 18:12; Matthew 27:26, 27-31; John 19:16-18?
- What are some of the obstacles you face as you seek to fulfill this resolution for a lifetime?
- What was Jesus' ultimate goal that enabled Him to persevere? Compare Hebrews 12:2 with 1:9.
- What do you think His joy was? See Zephaniah 3:17, Matthew 13:44, Luke 15:7.
a major overhaul?
a clean sweep?
a limited remodeling?
or simple, minor repairs?
After doing the "research," would you begin today with the tear-out, keeping your focus on the end result, which is a fresh, more efficient and effective lifetime commitment that brings God glory as it reflects His Son, Jesus?