Why you need to gird your New Year’s resolution with grace

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© January 13, 2018 ⎜Schulter Etyang

We cannot do without New Year’s resolutions. That’s the truth. Goal setting is as old as creation itself. After God created human beings, he set goals for them — be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, subdue and have dominion. (Genesis 1:28) Adam Alter in his book Irresistible, writes, goals … are a biological imperative rather than a luxury or choice (Pg. 107) We are intrinsically goal-oriented beings. 

Jenny and I make resolutions every New Year. We usually sit and write what we expect to do in the coming year. We set goals and plans for the New Year. We set goals as it concerns our health, spirituality, finances, friendships, in-laws, home, vacations, studies, career, ministry etc.

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Why 2018 is your best year yet

By Schulter Etyang

2018 is here with us. Yes, yes, yes. Jenny and I always look forward to every new year with expectation because of the promises, blessings, and goodwill that God affords us because of what Jesus has done. To us, every year is another opportunity to receive and enjoy ALL those promises, blessings and goodwill. I know I sound like that charismatic preacher on TBN that you don’t like. I know, I know…

But hear me out.

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The face of God in a manger

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Photo by Carlos Martinez on Unsplash 

By Schulter Etyang

John makes this claim about Jesus 

John 1:18 (BBE)

No man has seen God at any time; the only Son, who is on the breast of the Father, he has made clear what God is.

Was he right? Yes, he was.

Not even Adam and Eve? The idea seems plausible. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve heard the sound of the Lord God walking about in the garden. The scripture is not ambiguous about this. If Adam and Eve had seen God, the writers would have indicated so. Jenny and I live in a double storey flat. When she is upstairs I can hear her moving around. I could write about hearing her walking in the room upstairs but that doesn’t mean I see her. 

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 Good news of great joy

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Photo by Sean Wells on Unsplash

By Schulter Etyang

Happy story

Before my father died, Christmas used to be special to our family. Christmas used to be a great time for us. My father used to come from overseas and bring us new sneakers and clothes. I think we were the first in our small town to wear the Reebok sneakers. Christmas was also time for good food and friends. I still have memories of the smells, the laughter, the visits from friends etc. We used to really have a good time. I loved Christmas.

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Changed by the greatest story ever told

By Schulter Etyang 

Jeff Vanderstelt in his book Gospel Fluency says this, “All of us are living under a dominant story. We perceive the world and human interactions through the stories we know and believe.”

Our lives have been shaped or are being shaped by the stories we’ve heard or keep hearing. These stories either played out in our lives (in the case of our parents and families) or we listened to stories. One fond memory I have about my family is when my eldest sister Evelyn, sat us on the kitchen floor, and told us stories. Some stories were fascinating while others were really scary. But she told stories to my brothers and I.

Some few years back, I listened to this story for the very “first” time. And my life was changed. This story simply goes like this

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How Jesus solved David’s dilemma

By Schulter Etyang

David has this dilemma. His middle son has just murdered his eldest son. Absalom murdered Amnon because he raped his sister Tamar. David is then told about what happened but does nothing. His only response? Very angry! So, Absalom takes it upon himself to avenge the wrong that was done to his sister. Which he does.

The penalty of what Absalom did is death. This David knows very well. He knows the Ten Commandments very well. In a previous episode of his life, he did the same thing. He murdered his best friend and took his wife.

Now David is faced with this dilemma. How do I condemn what Absalom did without condemning him? How do I punish his sin without punishing my son? How do I judge his sin without judging him? It seems plausible enough that his son Absalom knew what he had done to Uriah and was now playing the same card. “Dad, let’s see what you are going to do to me. If you judge or punish me, then your God is so unfair because he didn’t do the same to you.”

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God died to marry you

Seven years ago, I was introduced to this revolutionary idea that the bible was all about Jesus. This idea that the bible was all about Jesus rattled and unraveled me. It did. Now I cannot but see Jesus and his free grace in every story, event or person in the bible.

This has in many ways re-shaped my thinking, transformed my affections. When I interact with the Christian, I try to shed some new light on stories in the bible and help them see Jesus. With the non-Christian secular or religious person, I try to help them understand what the Christian faith is really all about.

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