post advent devotional | 10,000 moments

Posted by occwebsite
28th Dec 2017


Trading One Dramatic Resolution For Ten Thousand Little Ones

‘Tis the season, but not the Christmas season anymore. ‘Tis the season for New Year’s resolutions.

This time of the calendar year comes along and almost everywhere we have lists…

  • lists of the best and worst of 2017
  • lists of what to look forward to in 2018

We have blogs, newspaper articles, TV magazine shows, tweets, instagram and Facebook posts. ‘Tis the season for the annual ritual of dramatic New Year’s resolutions, fueled by the hope of immediate and significant personal life change.

Let’s be honest.

  • The reality is that few smokers actually quit because of a single moment of resolve.
  • Few obese people become slim and healthy because of one dramatic moment of commitment.
  • Few people deeply in debt change their financial lifestyle because they resolve to do so as the old year gives way to the new.
  • Few marriages change by the means of one dramatic resolution.

Is change important? Yes, it is for all of us in some way.
Is commitment essential? Of course! There’s a way in which all our lives are shaped by the commitments we make. But biblical Christianity – which has the gospel of Jesus Christ at its heart – simply doesn’t rest its hope in big, dramatic moments of change.

The fact of the matter is that the transforming work of grace is more of a process than it is a series of a few dramatic events. Personal heart and life change is always a process. And where does that process take place? It takes place where you and I live everyday. And where do we live? We all have the same address. Our lives don’t careen from big moment to big moment. No, we all live in the utterly mundane.

Most of us won’t be written up in history books. Most of us only make three or four momentous decisions in our lives, and several decades after we die, the people we leave behind will struggle to remember the events of our lives. You and I live in little moments, and if God doesn’t rule our little moments and doesn’t work to recreate us in the middle of them, then there is no hope for us, because that’s where you and I live.

The little moments of life are profoundly important precisely because they are the little moments that we live in and that form us. This is where I think Big Drama Christianitygets us into trouble. It can cause us to devalue the significance of the little moments of life and the “small change” grace that meets us there. Because we devalue the little moments where we live, we don’t tend to notice the sin that gets exposed there. We fail to seek the grace that’s offered to us.

You see, the character of a life is not set in two or three dramatic moments, but in 10,000 little moments. The character that was formed in those little moments is what shapes how you respond to the big moments of life.

So if a New Year’s resolution doesn’t lead to significant personal change, what does?

  • 10,000 moments of personal insight and conviction.
  • 10,000 moments of humble submission.
  • 10,000 moments of foolishness exposed and wisdom gained.
  • 10,000 moments of choosing to repent (turning and going in a new direction).
  • 10,000 moments of courageous faith.
  • 10,000 choice points of obedience.
  • 10,000 times of forsaking the kingdom of self and running toward the kingdom of God.
  • 10,000 moments where we abandon worship of the creation and give ourselves to worship of the Creator.

And what makes all of this possible? Relentless, transforming, little-moment grace. You see, Jesus is Emmanuel not just because he came to earth, but because he makes you the place where he dwells. This means he is present and active in all the mundane moments of your daily life.

In these small moments he is delivering every redemptive promise he has made to you. In these unremarkable moments, he is working to rescue you from you and transform you into his likeness. By sovereign grace he places you in daily little moments that are designed to take you beyond your character, wisdom and grace so that you will seek the help and hope that can only be found in him. In a lifelong process of change, he is undoing you and rebuilding you again – exactly what each one of us needs!

Yes, you and I need to be committed to change, but not in a way that hopes for a big event of transformation, but in a way that finds joy in and is faithful to a day-by-day, step-by-step process of insight, confession, repentance and faith.

As 2017 gives way to 2018, wake up each day committed to live in the small moments of your daily life with open eyes and humbly expectant hearts.

reflection questions

  • Do you have any resolutions you want to make or bad habits you want to kick?
  • What is motivating you to want to change these areas of your life?
  • Why might it be “easier” to make one big resolution than 10,000 little ones?
  • What are some elements that make the daily routine of life so difficult?
  • How does the grace of God help you with your 10,000 little decisions?
  • How can you take advantage of New Morning Mercies? (Lamentations 3:22-23)
  • What are some daily spiritual struggles that you are facing?
  • What daily commitments can you make to address these areas of weakness?