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.
"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
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
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.