In some ways the start of a New Year brings with it a sinking feeling, a feeling that although we have successfully negotiated our way through a full year plus the hectic Christmas period, now we have to do it all again! And then there are the New Year resolutions that everyone else seems to be making. Where do we put God in all this, the God who sits outside the passing of months and years, and controls the changing seasons? He does not change from year to year. How do we look at the road which stretches ahead with optimism, with joy, and our eyes firmly on Christ?
At the New Year’s Sunday service last year our pastor shared an alternative to New Year’s resolutions (which are usually broken by mid-January and forgotten mid-February). These New Life Resolutions apply every day in every season as we seek to follow Christ. We need not feel frustrated with these or give up when we fail. . . because, yes, we will all inevitably fail! For this is the reason Christ died. . . because we could never “make it” on our own. “But God gives us more grace”. Here are some guiding principles to hold on to each day as we seek to live in the freedom of the new life Christ has won for us: (from Luke 12)
1. Resolve to live by GRACE not WORKS. If we are in Christ it is His works which we are judged on, and He is perfect! Have confidence in this, and extend this grace to others. (verses 1-3)
2. Resolve in your thoughts to TRUST GOD. Don’t allow our minds to entertain thoughts that are fearful of man, the future, anything! (v 4-8)
3. Resolve in your words to PROCLAIM CHRIST. The promise is that if we acknowledge Christ before men He will acknowledge us before His Father! Be proactive and speak up, tell others you are a Christian, ask what they know about Jesus. He promises to give us the words. (v 8-12)
4. Resolve in your actions to IMITATE GOD.
The aim is to transform our walk, our talk, our thoughts to those of Jesus. Be rich toward God! Rely on the power of His Spirit in you to transform you (v13-21).
Really, a sinking feeling? And I quote you, “In some ways the start of a New Year brings with it a sinking feeling, a feeling that although we have successfully negotiated our way through a full year plus the hectic Christmas period, now we have to do it all again!”
I haven’t this sinking feeling myself then again I’m not sure what God has planned this year yet He promises not to load me with too heavier burden that I cannot carry.
The first resolution is good and Biblical yet I have a concern which I experienced to a Senior Pastor at a recent baptism of two people I went to. The questions asking the people if they have received Christ as their Saviour and confessed Him as is their Lord were good and the usual ones at a believer’s baptism. Yet the last question really concerned me. It went something like this, “with the help of God do you commit yourself to pray and read your Bible daily and serve in His church?” Now unless I heard incorrectly this question has no basis when it comes to the gospel and baptism. Sure after conversion it is life in Christ that believers pray, read their Bible and serve in the church but not included in the gospel message as a condition to receive Christ as Lord and Saviour. Neither is it part of the gospel baptism.
Thankfully the Senior Pastor acknowledged the soundness of my theology and when asked also acknowledged that this is a standard baptismal question of their denomination.
Mmmm… I went away feeling disappointed and concerned…
Nevertheless I agree with and by the grace of our God seek to humbly live by the 4 resolutions the preacher preached on. Thanks for your great blogs that stimulate my mind and heart and grant me the opportunity to comment, at times in length.
Thanks Ros, joy, peace, love – and a happy new year in Jesus to you and your loved ones,
Peter : )
Hi. Thanks for your reply. Sinking feeling comes from being over tired from all the festive busyness. Ok now, not so tired!
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I absolutely love this. May I have permission to print it out and tuck it in my Bible? Thank you so much for sharing. I love the photo of you, by the way!!
Totally!! I think I will do the same
I love these “resolutions.” This is something I can sink my teeth into, and make then new every morning 🙂
Great, thanks for reading and bless you as you follow Jesus!