Scriptural Reference:
Psalm 51:10-11 ESV Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.

James 4:13-17 ESV Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit"- yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that." As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

Matthew 14:22-23
"Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone..."

Every year. Year after year. People make New Years Resolutions. These are usually meant to convey an attitude of bettering ones life, attitude or direction they are travelling. Most are made somewhat tongue in cheek. With no real sense of commitment to fulfil the resolution. So many have pledged to give up smoking, yet fail as soon as they are stressed. So many pledge to find a job and get motivated, yet sleep in and find it easier to cast blame on the world they live in.

As Christians we are surrounded by a vast array of possible pledges we can make. But what would be the real tangible pledges that become Life Long Resolutions. As opposed to the annual resolutions. What would make our Christian Pilgrimage through life more tangible as a witness of the love and reliance we have in Jesus as our Saviour? What can we do to make our Faith real?

The first Bible verse calls for a need for a clean heart. We need to start our pledge or resolution with the proper intent. So asking God to create in us a clean heart gives us the foundation from which we can then work from. This creates in us a pure and direct place from which we can then formulate our own personal resolution.

The second Bible verse reminds us that each and every day is a gift from God. That making flimsy annual resolutions sound great. But in reality we don't know what the next day or any other next day will bring. So the best place to continue to is to see each day as they are. A blessing and opportunity from God. To place our plans before God and seek to know his judgement and support. As it says, If the Lord wills, then so should we walk.

The third Bible verse reminds us of the importance of spending quality time with God. So we may pledge to share the Gospel with someone new each month. We may pledge to attend Church each Sunday regardless of how tired we think we are feeling. Or perhaps any other distraction. Yes, both are very important pledges. But without the commitment to spend time with God, they become just a ritual and formal for dotting the 'I's' and crossing the 'T's'. Not the quality relationship that is the strength of a true resolution.

My personal plan is to make the resolution to share the Gospel as often as I can. Looking for new and unique ways to bring the Bible up in conversations. This won't be easy. There will always be those who tend to like to attack anyone who has any form of conviction and strong beliefs. But the relationship I plan to continue to build with God through weekly devotional will make it interesting and meaningful.

Another resolution I will be considering will be journaling as I study the Bible. The Bible itself is what some could call a collection of personal journals and reflections. So what better way of exploring and discovering the truths that are revealed through study? Again, this won't be easy at first. But as practice and time provides it will be a great source to have. As I can look back and see how my growth as a Christian has progressed over the years.

So the main points I would close with are these;

1) Pray earnestly that God will prepare you for your New Years Resolution Journey.
2) Pray asking God to lead you as you make your personal Resolution of a Life Time Commitment.
3) Spend Quality Time with God as you seek ways to make sure you continue to pursue your Resolution's.

I seek to know your will in my life.
That I may be everything you long for me to be.
Teach my heart to seek after those things that are,
Pure and correct,
True and honourable.

This New Year I pledge to,
(Place your special Resolution here)
Send the Holy Spirit to guide me,
On my Pilgrimage,
In the ways of you Grace.

I thank you for your precious gifts.
Of each and every day of my life.
Knowing that in them you provide,
Opportunities and pathways,
Wisdom and understanding.

Lord, I pray these things in you name.
Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ.