Another year passes and we are made aware of our most precious, fragile gift of all: time. Benjamin Franklin wrote “Dost thou love life? Then waste not time, for that is the stuff that life is made of.” Our use of time determines success or failure. Surely it is fitting that we make some Biblical new year’s resolutions to direct us into the future. Not just for this year but for every year of life we are given. Let us look at the word “resolutions” for this article.
1. Let us resolve to stay in the (R) Race (Hebrews 12:1). In this race, we must be able to take it and not give up. Paul said, “Know you not that they which rune in a race run all, but one receives the prize? So run, that you may obtain. And every man that strives for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run …” (1 Cor 9:24-27). We need to get rid of everything that would slow us down or hold us back, or detour us from running the race of our Christian life. Stay in the race!
2. Let us resolve to stop making (E) Excuses (Lk 14:16). A common practice among men is that of excuse-making for their failure to do their duty. Many in the churches take lightly the command to come together for worshiping God. So they make plans as these three did in the book of Luke, and use excuses why they couldn’t assemble with the saints (Matt 6:33 f; Hebrews 10:25). The Master was angry with the three, and all who would lightly consider His generous offer. Stop making excuses, and do your best!
3. Let us resolve to be good (S) Soldiers for Christ (2 Tim 2:3). This army is made up of all volunteers. Our enlistment began when by faith (Heb 11:6) confessed (Matt 10:32-33) the name of our Jesus Christ, our Savior, (Hebrews 2:10) we repented (Lk 13:3) of our sins, and was buried into Him for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38 ff; Rom 6:1-4; Gal 3:27). As a result, one is in subjection to God’s will, a member of the spiritual army of God. As soldiers in the Lord’s army, we need to “Fight the good fight of faith” (1 Tim 6:12). Brethren, God has a right to expect godly living, cheerful giving, Bible reading, praying, loving and faithful attendance of worship services from His soldiers. This is the least we can do as Christians. After all, we volunteered! We need to say as Paul, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim 4:7).
4. Let us resolve to keep our (O) Obligations to God (Deut 6:5 cf; 10:12; 11:1 f; Matt 22:37). We, as God’s children have the obligation and duty to be faithful in all His duties as a part of the bride, the church. We promise to love the Lord, the church, to keep the commandments of the Lord, to walk in all His ways, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart. May I implore you to live true to your word being a Christian!
5. Let us resolve to be united in (L) Love (Eph 5:1-2 f; Jn 13:34-35). John commands Christians to love one another (1 Jn 3:11; 4:7, 16). The lack of such love causes grievous harm to the growth and welfare of the body of Christ (Gal 5:15). If there is one thing that all men know about the teaching of Christ, they know that He emphasized love (Jn 13:35). How do we know that we truly love the brethren? John says, “By this, we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments” (1 Jn 5:2).
6. Let us resolve to be (U) unselfish (2 Cor 5:15). Who had died for all, deserves all glory! Christians are bought or redeemed for the Lord’s own possession (Eph 5:25-26 f; 1 Pet 1:18-19). One of the most difficult things in life is denying self, and living apart from selfish desires and ambitions, but to be a disciple of Christ it must be done (Matt 16:24-25). We “no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God” (1 Pet 4:2). “Let no man seek his own” (1 Cor 10:24). The love of Christ constrains us to leave self!
7. Let us resolve to use our (T) Talents (Matthew 25:14-30). God requires that we use our talents and not only use them but to use them faithfully. Woe to the brother or sister that shirks their responsibility, for their eternal destiny hangs in the balance. Use them or loss them!
8. Let us resolve to keep our saving (I) Influence (Philip 1:27). The conversation (manner of life) of the Christian be as becometh the Gospel. The manner of life of the Christian will be either a real asset or a significant liability to the cause of Christ. The conduct of the Christian should adorn the doctrine of God (Tit 2:10). Adorn means to beautify. The life of a faithful Christian reveals the beauty of God’s will and way. There is nothing more impressive than the influence of a pure Christian life. Show the world what a Christian is (Matt 5:13-16)!
9. Let us resolve to be (O) Orderly. Orderly means a soldier assigned to perform services. We are soldiers in the Lord’s army, and we need to be doers, not hearers only (Jam 1:22). It is absolutely essential that we, being followers of Jesus, emulate His example in doing the will of our heavenly Father (Jn 4:24). God pronounces a blessing upon all those who both hear and do His will (Rev 22:14).
10. Let us resolve to be truly a (N) New person in Christ (2 Cor 5:17). We are new in Christ; the old sinful self has been put to death (Rom 6:6). The old man is the sinful man, a servant of sin (Rom 6:17), but in Christ, we are new people. The new man is “created in righteousness and true holiness” (Eph 4:24). A new man is indeed a Christ-like man (Col 3:10). Are we Christ-like? Do people see a difference between the old you and the new you (1 Pet 4:4)?
11. Let us resolve to (S) Support the churches of Christ. Do you love the church of our Lord? Have you ever wondered just what you could do to support, to help the Lord’s church? And be what God desires for it? We can support and help His congregation by: Living pure lives. Giving the men of this congregation support. Promoting love and unity. Never bringing shame to this congregation. Giving as God as commanded.
Doing the best you can for the cause of Christ. Attending every first day of the week.
Putting God first by putting His doctrine first.
What are you going to do with this new year God has given you?