Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

A lot of folks made New Year resolutions, making all sorts of plans for how they’re going to change this and improve that. Millions of people across this country are vowing to lose weight, read their Bibles, go to church. And once we're a couple months into 2013, millions of people will still be overweight, underfed, and unchurched.

Back about 1985 or so, I made my last New Year resolution. Very simple and easy to keep. I resolved that I would never again make a New Year resolution. I've managed to keep it every since.

The true reality of that resolution, though is that I just resolved not to focus on New Year's Day to resolve important things. For instance, if I am hit with a need to change something, and it's actually May, I don't make a note of it and wait until mid-winter. No. I think and pray it over, then resolve right then and there to make changes. My biggest resolution this year happened in August. And I'm keeping it.

Sometimes I’m asked what would be a good resolution to make. Well, here’s one, Colossians 1:21-23: "Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation-- if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant."

The best resolution that anyone can make actually needs to be made every day. If we go off on our own, follow the world's so-called good ideas, pursue petty pleasures that might arise, then we are off on that “evil behavior” that Paul mentioned. And since we are all imperfect, we should each resolve to continue in strong faith that comes through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

As followers of Jesus Christ, we have a blessed hope that no one else can claim. Lay hold of that hope and stand firm as you enter this New Year. And resolve yourself to it every day.

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