Behold, I make all things new! Revelation 21:5
Who doesn’t like new things, new starts, and new years? We all do! But New Year's resolutions? I’m not a fan. If we have not kept them through the year, chances are we will not keep them now. Every day for the believer should be a renewed resolve to walk with Jesus, grow closer to Him, and to walk in the spirit and not in the flesh!
Do you know what they call the day after Christmas in England? “Boxer Day!” This is not a reference to the sport. Rather, it is a reference to the fact that almost everything gets “boxed up” after Christmas and returned to the store! Sometimes the best part of Christmas is the wonder and anticipation of what is under the wrapping. A new thing is always fun, but the novelty soon wears off. But with Jesus, that is not so; He will never fail us or disappoint us! May we never lose the awe and wonder that is found in Christ! Ravi Zacharias said that only God is big enough to be a perpetual novelty. His mercies are new every morning.
May we be reminded now, a few weeks after Christmas, and perhaps after a little bit of let down and disappointment, that Jesus truly is the greatest gift. We are invited to enjoy Him each and every day, to be in wonder and awe of Him, and to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Without a vision the people perish; may we keep Jesus and His kingdom in our vision.
If we have seen trial or tragedy this past year, we can trust that God makes no mistakes! He works all things out for our good (Romans 8:28). “God writes in characters too grand for our short sight to understand. We catch but broken strokes and try to fathom all the mystery, withered hopes, of death or life, the endless war, the useless strife. But there with larger, clearer sight we shall see this: that His way was right.” John Oxenham
There were two famous runners that competed in the Olympics. After the awards, one had a gold statue made in his likeness and the other a bronze one. Someone asked the bronze medalist what he thought happened as he was the one expected to win. He replied, “Remember Lot’s wife? She looked back and became a pillar of salt. When I looked back I became a bronze statue!” Paul shared in Philippians 3:13-14, “...forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Are we looking back to past hurts, failures, or even prideful accomplishments? No, may we look ahead to Jesus, as an old song chorus encourages us to do:
“I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back.
The cross before me the world behind me, no turning back no turning back.”
As I mentioned, I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. However, Jonathan Edwards lived by an amazing list of resolutions that are surely worth reading. You will be blessed, convicted, and challenged if you choose to read them! He began with this preface: “being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly look to God’s grace to enable me to keep these.” It has been said that he “resolved” to living a life that counted, not just a life of putting in time.
If you are interested in reading the resolutions of Jonathan Edwards, you can find them by searching online under “Jonathan Edwards resolutions” or by visiting the women’s ministry Facebook page, where such a website is given.
One commentator of these resolutions noted that “Christ made the ultimate resolution and He kept it perfectly and completely. Christ resolved to redeem His fallen and sinful people so we could be reconciled to the Father and pursue a life of holiness. Let us keep our eyes on Jesus.” There is not a more appropriate way to begin a new year! In the words of Jonathan Edwards, may the Lord give “His grace to enable us” to walk in the newness that is found in Him alone.
We would see Jesus,