2018 is here! With it comes resolutions, new commitments, new diets and the internal knowledge that most of them will only last till around mid-February. I don’t want to be a downer, but we all now that if there is something we as humans are not good at it’s consistency. We make big plans to lose the weight, read the books, or watch less tv all with the desire to “actually do it this time.” Now I truly hope that if there are beneficial changes you want to make this year that you truly are able to do those. I know there are aspects of my life that I hope the Lord gives me strength to change. However, for your consideration, please allow me to give you some alternative “resolutions” that I am personally a fan of.
These are some life resolutions from the great Johnathan Edwards. Now, there’s 70 of them, but don’t worry, I wont give you all of them here. These are just a few that I think are very helpful for us as we head into a new year.
Resolution #1 “Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God’s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriad’s of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many and how great soever.”
What a great one. To live all for the glory of God. That’s why we’re here. That is the truest and purest meaning of life itself. To bring God glory in all that we do, think, say and are.
Resolution #5 “Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.”
I like this one because he is encouraging us not to be lazy or flippant with the time that we are given. Every breath is a gift from God and we are to use every breath in its most profitable way. Whether this is work, play, time with friends or family, church, service, all of it needs to be done as to not lose a moment of the time we have been given. How are you spreading your time this year?
Resolution #67 “Resolved, after afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them, what good I have got by them, and what I might have got by them.”
For the Christian, suffering is never pointless. God always uses suffering. We are never left on our own without there being a purpose in the pain. This pain and suffering is always to make us less dependent on ourselves and more dependent on Christ. This is ultimately the point of pain. It is when we realize that God’s “power is made perfect in our weakness”, that we can truly understand the purpose of pain and what we gain from it. We gain Christ.
Resolution #25 “Resolved, to examine carefully, and constantly, what that one thing in me is, which causes me in the least to doubt of the love of God; and to direct all my forces against it.”
What is it in you that is standing in between you and Christ. Pride? Laziness? Drunkenness? Anger? Porn? What is that that causes your affections to be turned elsewhere? Every person has something in their life that steals their affections and attention. Whatever this is for you, you must find it and kill it. It is standing between you and Jesus. The heart He wants, you are giving to something else. The life that He died for, you are handing over to another. He bought us, He owns us, He is owed all our affections, love and devotion.
Resolution #28 “Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.”
Is the Bible important to you? Is it worth more than anything? It is our lifeblood, our source of knowledge and strength. We learn who God is an who we are through it. It brings clarity and conviction. Do we seek after God’s Word like a dying man in the desert seeks after life giving water? Is God’s Word a priority for us? Do we cherish it, I mean truly cherish it? We must make it so in our lives.
Resolution #48 “Resolved, constantly, with the utmost niceness and diligence, and the strictest scrutiny, to be looking into the state of my soul, that I may know whether I have truly an interest in Christ or no; that when I come to die, I may not have any negligence respecting this to repent of.”
As we start this new year, let there be nothing that is more important to you than the person of Christ. Let Him be in all and through all. Consider how much you love Him and do not be satisfied with the amount. Always seek Him and His face. Always remember the sacrifice He made on your behalf. Always remember the assurance and security we have in Him. Always remember the glory that awaits us that are in Christ. Never forget to praise Him, thank Him, love Him, exalt Him and worship Him. Know that He has conquered death, sin and Satan on your behalf. He is supreme and truly magnificent. Make Christ of utmost importance this year and every year. Never stop pursuing Him and His likeness. In all you do, think, say and feel, do it all for the one that gave His life for you. At the end of the day, the only “resolution” that truly matters is to live all the more for the glory of God. Live for Christ in 2018. He is worth it!