John Greenleaf Whittier, December 17, 1807 – September 7, 1892.
Whittier was an American Quaker poet and advocate of the abolition of slavery in the United States.Now that we have entered 2016, one great aspiration and desire we should have is to walk in the victory given to all believers in Yeshua by Yeshua Himself. As we consider what Yeshua did for us as He laid down His life willingly as a sacrifice for our sins, we should also consider what the result of His action was. For you and for me, one overarching descriptive term applied to the result of the sacrifice of Yeshua, is victory.
1 CORINTHIANS 15:57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah!
His victory prevails on an eternal level and dare I say it, His victory should prevail in the here and now of our lives. And, it is the here and now that rightfully should be our emphasis.
How can we walk in His victory in this upcoming year?
Believing GOD and continuing in ongoing obedience to Him are base line aspects of walking in the victory in the here and now which Yeshua has given to us. These come forth from the inner attitude of our heart, the deepest place of connection to the LORD, deep within our spirit, and are empowered by HIS Spirit. As we yield to the promptings of His Spirit, we find ourselves in the realm of victory as GOD deems victory.
With this New Year before us, here are three things we can do which are intricately connected to victory and with conducting ourselves here and now in the victory Yeshua gave to us.
1. We can deal with all our personal relationships with a victorious attitude. This means, we are not to allow others to trample us under their feet, take advantage of us or lead us astray for their own misguided purposes. Rather, we are to clearly express within our relationships that we belong to the LORD and will not deviate from what is right in His sight. We also want to do all we can to maintain good husband/wife relations as well as parents/ children relationships. Within the body of believers we want to do all we can to build up the community through good relationships and solid, godly friendships.
2. We can be proactive (take the initiative) in service. We can participate more faithfully in the outreach, well-being and maintenance of our spiritual community. We can volunteer our time and efforts to help our spiritual community. We can give generously in an ongoing manner to the financial wellbeing of the community. Without across the board faithfulness at work within a community, the community becomes stagnant. Ministry efforts dry up. Volunteers can become worn out if others will not join in and volunteer. Without generosity within the community, the community efforts can be stymied. I am thankful and glad to say that at Rosh Pinah many participate in maintaining the community but there is always room for expanding our volunteer base and increasing our financial resources for the LORD’s purpose. And we don’t want to think such responsibilities only apply to others. They also apply to each member of the community.
1 CORINTHIANS 15:58 So, my dear brothers, stand firm and immovable, always doing the Lord’s work as vigorously as you can, knowing that united with the Lord your efforts are not in vain.
3. We can recognize GOD wants to use us as His ambassadors. We can overcome our shyness, intimidation or even fear by telling others about Yeshua’s love, mercy and forgiveness. We can also offer our personal testimony of GOD’s work in our lives. Truthful testimonies are undeniable witnesses of GOD’s mercy and extended grace. Once we recognize that we are His ambassadors bearing the seed of His word of salvation through the merit of Yeshua, we will all the more want to share the Good News every chance we can. Doing so is a great privilege which should not be taken lightly.
When Whittier expressed the idea that the smile of GOD upon an individual is a sure sign of victory, he seemed to be restating a certain truth of the Bible in a most charming way. I trust this year the LORD will smile upon you as you honor Him, for He has gotten you the victory and that victory applies to the here and now of your life.