DEVOTIONAL: “But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your ‘yes’ be yes and your ‘no’ be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.” James 5:12, ESV.
CHALLENGE: Have you written your annual resolution yet? I sure haven’t, but I have given it plenty of thought. Each year many people throughout Canada and United States sit down and write a new goal that they wish to accomplish in the coming year. For a few months, or weeks…or days, the resolution looks like it will be do-able.
Why do we make such promises that we know there is next to no chance for us to accomplish?
The following list may be some reasons we write New Year’s Resolutions:
- Set goals
- Personal change
- Personal pride
- Self doubt
Setting goals, wanting personal change are not bad things. We all are driven by some form of motivation. But do we rely of the Most High to help us with our resolutions? Is Jesus Christ part of your new year? Do we pray for God to show us what changes we should make in our lives?
28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:28-33, ESV.)
I will confess to you, my brothers and sisters, I have not be faithful in regular devotions (Bible reading). My prayer life has room for improvement. And I struggle with certain sins. If my New Year’s resolution was to read my Bible daily, set aside special times for prayer, and focus on good holy things, I would be set.
BUT…how can such resolutions be profitable to me or those around me if I forget to place God in the centre of them, of my life?
For Anon Domini 2017 my personal resolution and my challenge is to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” A New Year’s resolution that does not hinge solely on our own abilities but upon Him who gave them to us.
How can you writing God into your New Year’s resolution? How can we seek after God’s resolution for us this new year? Pray constantly, read regularly, and be in community with fellow Christians, not for personal glory but to bring glory and honour to God the Father, Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit.