Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely , whatever is of good report, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, ponder on these things. - Philippians 4:8

Saturday, December 31, 2011


I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

      How many of you have put together a list of New Year’s resolutions for the new year? When it comes to making New Year’s resolutions, some of us are like Barney and think “I can do it,” and some of us are like Harold and think “No way”.

     It was late in the afternoon on the first day of January and Barney was working hard trying to memorize the 23rd Psalm. Back and forth and round and round he would walk as he would try to memorize and recite one verse after another. After several hours of hard work he finally shouted out in triumph, “I DID IT! I DID IT!”

     Upon hearing Barney’s excitement, Muffy, thinking he was missing out on something came running in to Barney’s backyard, plowing into Barney, knocking him over and than of all things, he sat on him. “HAROLD!” came a some what muffled yell, “GET YOUR STUPID DOG OFF OF ME!”

     “Here, Muffy. Come here Muffy!” Harold called out as he came in to Barney’s backyard and suddenly Muffy got up and ran off in the opposite direction. “Harold!” Barney yelled at him, “Why don’t you teach that dog some manners?” “Sorry,” Harold replied, “Muffy heard you yell with excitement and had to come see what you were doing. By the way, what are you doing?”

     “I’m working on one of my New Year’s resolutions.” Barney told Harold. “A New Year’s Res... Roos... Ra.. A new Year’s what?” Harold asked with a confused look on his face. “A New Year’s Resolution,” Barney repeated, “They’re goals you set to accomplish during the coming year. Memorizing verses is one of mine.”

     “I could never do that.” Harold told him, “Memorizing is boring, besides I don’t have time, I’m too busy chasing Muffy.” “Well,” Barney suggested, “Maybe you would have time if you trained Muffy to obey. Maybe you should make that YOUR New Year’s Resolution. You could train Muffy to obey.”

     “Yeah, right! Tell me another one.” Harold laughed, “I could never do that. Muffy doesn’t listen to me.” “Maybe Muffy would learn to listen,” Barney told him, “If you did, besides if you put yourself to it you can do it. Philippians 4:13 says I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

     “You really think I could say - ‘Here Muffy,’ and he would actually come?” Harold asked Barney but before Barney could answer Muffy came running at them. “It worked!” Harold shouted and than boom, Muffy ran over both of them and kept right on going. “Than again” Barney laughed, “Maybe not.”

     Which is easier, setting goals or fulfilling them? Starting a task or finishing it? Often times we look at a task or a goal and say I can't and it never gets done. What if Nehemiah had said “No way!” when it came to the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem? His story can be found in the book by his name “Nehemiah” I'm just going to highlight a few points and let you read the story for yourself.

     Jerusalem's walls had been destroyed and its people taken, one captive named Nehemiah eventually became a cup-bearer to the king. He is saddened by news of Jerusalem and how it lays in ruins and sets himself a gaol to restore it.

     In reaching his goal he starts where many of fail, he starts by fasting and praying and than with God's help he secures permission from the king to go and rebuild Jerusalem's walls. Once he arrives at Jerusalem he spends 3 days surveying the walls in secret and than gathers together a work force and starts building the walls.

     Once the work is under way, the goal stoppers come out in force to try and stop Nehemiah from accomplishing his goal. In response Nehemiah shifts people around and eventually arms some of them but the work never fails and 52 days after the project got under way there was a 23 foot thick wall surrounding Jerusalem and the enemies became afraid saying this was a work of God.

     An important verse to remember when it comes to getting things done is the only verse I'm using this week - Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (NKJV) Yet, despite such a great promise we often fail to accomplish what we set out to do.

     What is it that hinders you form accomplish a task or reaching a goal? Could any of the following be a problem for you?
  • Is the goal or task too big or too small?
  • Is the goal or task too hard or too easy?
  • Do you find there isn't enough time or maybe too much time?
  • Do you find there isn't enough money or resources or maybe too much?
  • What about friends and family – do they encourage you or discourage you?
  • What about past failures or triumphs?
     I'm sure the list could go on as well as a list of potential goals for the year ahead. Whatever the task or gaols you may have for the new year or even for the next week always remember I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

      Here's Something To Ponder
  • Do you set goals with a goal of failing?
  • Is Christ a part of the goals you do set?

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