I mean in the sense that no one ever deliberately says, ‘I’m going to eat more chocolate this year’ or, ‘I’m going to make it my life’s goal to exercise much less than last year!’
It just kind of happens. We don’t have to try. Just don’t make any particular effort at anything and we let life slide into mediocrity or worse.
A resolution is usually to at least try and do things better, and if we’re honest we all have areas in our lives where there’s room for improvement. And it doesn’t just happen. It takes a firm decision, an ongoing determination.
‘Resolve’ means to decide firmly and ‘settle on a plan of action’. Something we settle on becomes a part and way of life for us.
Last January I suggested that before our feet touch the floor each day we should name our loved ones before God’s throne in prayer. Even a sentence or two. God alone knows the protection and grace that were given in 2017 in answer to those prayers!
This year I’m suggesting an addition to that morning routine. Here’s a resolution worth making if you’re up for it.
Whatever time we get up, make it five minutes earlier, have our bible handy, and read one Psalm and one chapter of a Gospel, Matthew, Mark, Luke or John.
We may read or pray more later in the day that’s fine but let’s resolve to do that much every morning. Many resolutions fail by the second week of January because they were too ambitious. Many an expensive exercise machine is gathering dust come February! Better to begin something modest and keep at it.
Consider the hours of whelming information, much of it these days founded on secular atheism, with which our minds will be flooded today and every day. Think how that TV, music, popular movies and magazines affect our values and behaviour. Might it be an idea to filter all that with a little light from God’s inspired truth?
The Psalmist writes, ‘Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.’ (Psalm 119 v 105)
But a torch is of use only if we keep it to hand and switch it on in the dark!
Our example in resolve as in all things is our Master Jesus.
Luke’s Gospel lays particular emphasis on Christ not just as divine but as a real human being, vulnerable like us but finding strength in the help of the Holy Spirit. Hence the long birth narrative and earthly detail. In ch 9 v 51, having revealed Himself as the promised Saviour to His disciples, He sets out on the final journey to Jerusalem knowing that what awaits Him there is the cross followed by resurrection.
‘As the time approached for Him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.’
It would be a road filled with challenge and not without sorrow, but He was resolved to fulfil His calling and finish the work He had come to do.
Let’s begin 2018 with some godly determination then, to live well, better than before with God’s help, for His glory.
In following this humble path of obedient service our Lord found joy and blessed many. With resolve, we His followers can and shall do likewise!