“And he (God) sat upon the throne and said behold, I make all things new.”(Rev 21:5)
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” (Rom 12:20)
The New Year presents all with the possibility of a new start, a second chance, another opportunity. We make resolutions, promises to ourselves to lose weight, take better care of ourselves, exercise, and read our Bible more. However, we usually fade after a few weeks and return to the same habits sadly admitting, “Well maybe next year.” I believe resolutions fail because they are most often self-centered (focused) and our will power is generally weak. If New Year’s resolutions are to be successful there must be a power source outside ourselves enabling us.
Christians have an advantage in keeping resolutions because we have such a power source and the Word of God offers direction in making resolutions of eternal importance rather than self-indulgent. If you are a Spirit-filled, born again follower of Jesus Christ, consider these 10 resolutions that can be fulfilled in 2012 not by our own effort but through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
- Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
- Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
- Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
- Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
- Share with the Lord’s people who are in need.Practice hospitality.
- Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
- Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
- Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
- Do not repay anyone evil for evil.Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
- Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” (Rom 12: 9-20)
Notice these “resolutions” are not self-promoting, in fact just the opposite. All ten promote considering another person greater than one self. Jesus Christ gave us this example as he went to the cross. Paul writes, “Be humble, thinking of others better than yourselves…” (Phil 2:3) Jesus told how saying, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever…”(John 14:16) The direction is given by the Word but God does not stop there He gives you the means (Helper, Comforter, Holy Spirit) to accomplish what He asks! If we remain in the power God has given to us, we will not fail to keep these 10 and many more if they line up with scripture because it is not of our own effort but of God that we are able to do all things!
My prayer. Father, we so often enter into a new year with great intentions only to find ourselves failing in a short period. As a loving and faithful Father, we know that you want only the best for your children and that as your word says whatever we ask in your name according to your will it will be granted unto us. Help us therefore Father to resolve this year in the power of the Holy Spirit to draw near to You and as we do Father, in your faithfulness cleanse us from all unrighteousness and empower us to live beyond our selfish desires. Teach us your ways Lord. In Jesus name, we pray. Amen!