Turn your intentions into reality

Published 3:58 pm Friday, January 16, 2009

I have greatly enjoyed the Christmas season that we have just celebrated, but it is behind us now for another year, and we are moving on to other things.

Although I like to stretch the observance out as long as I can, the few remaining displays of greatly reduced in-price Christmas items are nearly all gone now and the shelves are swelling with Valentine’s day gifts.

Speaking of leftover Christmas items, Gale and I were out looking for after-Christmas bargains a few days ago, and as I walked along I noticed that in a very visible section of the store, there was a large supply of bathroom scales for sale. Just beyond that was a variety of exercise equipment.

I was reminded very quickly that once again people will start the new year with great intentions of improving their physical well being by eating more healthily, exercising regularly and striving to drop those unneeded pounds of body weight.

It is wonderful to attempt to live healthier lives, but I expect that more people fail than succeed in this venture. It takes more than good intentions to achieve such respectable goals—it requires action. That action often requires deep discipline, and even personal sacrifice at times. But in the end, it is well worth the effort applied.

Along with having the intention of taking better care of our bodies this year, we need to have some intentions about our spiritual journey as well.

I trust that this year we will all have a deep desire to live lives more pleasing to God than we have in the past, to become more active in His Church and to allow Him to use us in increased areas of service for Him. Again, those are great intentions, but they also will not likely become reality by chance—effort is required.

Following through on our good spiritual intentions cannot take place without allowing the Word of God to have Its rightful place in our lives.

Hebrews 4:12 gives us great truths concerning the Bible: “For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, It penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (NIV).

Far too long God’s people have turned His Word into little more than a nice centerpiece on the bookshelf or coffee table of the home, rather than allowing It to be the first place that we look for guidance and instruction.

It is time that we begin to practice on a very personal level what the psalmist David said regarding God and His Word in Psalm 119:11: “I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You.”

Good intentions without following through with action accomplish little—for neither the body nor the soul. But when good intentions are followed by effective actions, great results can be realized.

A very effective action for becoming a stronger Christian is spending serious time in God’s Word. Read It, study It, allow It to penetrate your heart and affect how you live. Doing so is a giant step toward seeing your spiritual intentions for 2009 becoming reality.