Equipped For Lasting Change

How many times have you come to this first day of the year prepared to make changes in your life, only to fail a few weeks or months into the New Year? Do you know that the Bible tells us that we have been given a special, unique and personalized gift to assure our ability to sustain lasting change? Please read more…..

In Ephesians 4:1, St. Paul challenges us to: “Live in a manner worthy of the call you have received.” This presumes two things. First, it presumes we have been called and second, it presumes there is a proper manner in which we are called to live. Paul does not just leave us hanging and wondering how we can do this. He assures us that we can have lasting change and live according to God’s plan. In Ephesians 4:7, he writes this: “But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”

Today, as we reflect on God’s call and on His challenge to live our life in conformity to His Son’s teachings, I want to place emphasis on the good news that each of us has been given the exact grace we need to sustain our needed conversion.

It is not only on the first day of each year that we are called to change. As Christians, we are called to a life of continuous conversion. The Holy Spirit works within us to bring about this conversion. When we are moved by the grace St. Paul spoke of, we are challenged to turn towards God and away from sin. We need to accept God’s gift of forgiveness and righteousness, and become a new person in Christ.

The work which the Spirit initiated in us and the call to ongoing conversion should move us from sin and self-centered living and draw us to a journey toward God. We must seek His will for our lives.

Sadly, the reality is we are sinful people. We often tend to slip right back into our selfish ways by failing to avail ourselves to God’s Grace. Each New Year’s Day, people in general, make resolutions like planning to lose weight, eat healthier, drink less alcohol, stop smoking and exercise more. Christians go even further by making plans to do a better job of controlling their anger, passions, greed, and lust. They make plans to eliminate any unchaste living. Studies show, however, that nearly 97 percent of all of us, Christians and non-Christians alike, fail to sustain these new commitments. Very soon in the New Year, we return to our old ways of living.

When Jesus called Peter, Andrew, James and John, He called them to leave more than just their nets behind. He called them to something much bigger. He called them to leave their lives behind. He called them to a new life in Him. He called them to repentance. He called them to be changed men. He called them to carry out their respective role in His Kingdom.

We are told they immediately followed Him. Where did they find their strength? They found it in the grace that Jesus poured out on them. Each of them was granted the exact measure of grace they needed. We know from Biblical accounts that they all stumbled along the way, but they persisted in their commitment and continually relied on God’s grace for their ongoing conversion.

One week ago, we celebrated the birth of our Messiah. Jesus came into this world to save us from our sins. He came to call us to our specific role in His Kingdom. Through His death on the cross, He set us free. Now we are called to die to ourselves. We are called to die, precisely so that we can live.

So going forth in this New Year, when we feel the temptation to abandon our resolutions for change, and to fall back into old habits and sinful ways of living, we must try to remember and find assurance that we, as Christians, have a secret spiritual weapon that assures our success. We have been given the exact grace according to the measure we need to sustain our conversion.

It is important to note that the Bible says we were given spiritual grace to change, not super human strength. We cannot change of our own power.

If you are ready to embark on your New Year’s resolutions, don’t try to do so alone. Don’t rely on your human abilities. Rely on God’s grace and you will find lasting change. If we all do this, then acting together we can carry out our role in God’s Kingdom and together we can change the world for Christ.

Let’s make this a HAPPY CHRIST FOCUSED NEW YEAR!

Dear Lord, I accept your call to change. I know that I cannot do this alone. I am comforted to know that through you all things are possible. Grant me the grace I need for lasting change, amen!

As always, I love to read your comments below as well as hear from you personally by clicking here.

Brian Pusateri

Brian Pusateri

Brian is a Christian author and speaker. Brian, a lifelong Catholic, felt his life was forever changed when God spoke to his heart while attending an eight day silent Christian retreat in November of 2011. Soon after that retreat Brian founded 4th Day Letters and Broken Door Ministries. With the God inspired message of mercy and unconditional love that was placed on his heart during that retreat, Brian has been impacting others all over the country and around the world with his weekly letters, his talks, and his all day Christian retreats. Brian’s life was again impacted in a very dramatic way when his eyesight suddenly became permanently impaired due to a diagnosis of Multiple Scleroses (MS) in June of 2014. This health challenge has only served to draw Brian closer to God and bolster the importance of this timely yet ageless message.
Brian Pusateri

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6 Comments

  1. Gene Klawetter (Waynesville, NC) on January 1, 2019 at 8:34 am

    Brian: thank you so much for your weekly 4th Day Letters. Many of us, I am sure, depend on your kind words of encouragement. A request, please; would you consider a devotional on the topic of “worry?” Also, in your archive list; it would be helpful if – beside the date – you put a one or two word comment on the main subject of that particular devotional. This would enable quick reference in times of individual need of encouragement. God bless you Brian.

    • Brian Pusateri Brian Pusateri on January 1, 2019 at 8:50 am

      Gene

      Thank you for your kind words and great suggestions. I will work on a message about worry and we will look into your other suggestion of having a brief description of each article. Thanks for writing. Happy new year!

      Brian

  2. Kathy Masucci on January 1, 2019 at 5:10 am

    Thank you for being a wonderful example. I treasure the words you share and I will continue to share them with the inmates at Coxsackie Correctional Facility. May 2019 be filled with God’s will.

    • Brian Pusateri Brian Pusateri on January 1, 2019 at 6:56 am

      Kathy

      Thanks for your email and kind words. More importantly, thank you for your work with our incarcerated brothers and/or sisters. You are answering your call! May 2019 be a blessed year for you.

      Brian

  3. DeAnne Wickens on January 1, 2019 at 12:54 am

    I hope God continues to strengthen you in 2019 so you continue to bless us with your words and thoughts.
    Happy New Year in Christ

    • Brian Pusateri Brian Pusateri on January 1, 2019 at 2:23 am

      DeAnne

      Thank you and Happy New Year to you and Mike and to everyone who reads the 4th Day Letters. May a God strengthen us all in our resolve to carry out our respective roles in His Kingdom.

      God bless
      Brian

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