15 Life Resolutions – Revisited

Hard to believe but we are already well over half way through 2010! Where has the time gone? Some of you might remember that on January 1st I did a blog post on “15 Life Resolutions” to coincide with the onset of the new year. I called them life resolutions because I didn’t want this to be a 2 or 3 month experiment that I failed to follow through on long term. So often we have good intentions, especially at the start of a New Year, but we soon discover that implementation is often very hard and difficult. I was inspired to make these resolutions after reading Steve Lawson’s book “The Unwavering Resolve of Jonathan Edwards.” As a very young man, Edwards came up with 70 resolutions that he strived to follow for the rest of his life. His legacy testifies to the fact that he must have done a pretty good job following them, although given his intense personality, he probably didn’t see it that way. Anyway, here are my 15 Resolutions:

1.Resolved to live entirely for the glory of God.

2.Resolved to make much of Christ in everything I do and continually dwell on his majesty.

3.Resolved to forsake sin and live with a passionate pursuit of personal holiness.

4.Resolved to study and obey the Word of God with all due diligence.

5.Resolved to stand for the truth of God no matter how hostile the opposition.

6.Resolved to live with a genuine love for my fellow man.

7.Resolved to cultivate a deep prayer life.

8.Resolved to lead my family in a godly manner.

9.Resolved to live with the greatest possible discipline in order to promote the glory of God.

10.Resolved to preach the gospel wherever the Lord calls me.

11.Resolved to live all areas of life under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

12.Resolved to live all of life in worship of the triune God.

13.Resolved to constantly pursue revival in my own heart and in the hearts of all God’s people.

14.Resolved to live every moment of my life as if I was on the brink of eternity.

15.Resolved to carefully and constantly practice self-examination.

As I have read over the list periodically over the past 7 months, what always strikes me is the fact that this list is impossible to follow through on. This is not your typical, “I resolve to lose 20 pounds this new year, New Year’s resolution. Is it really possible to live “entirely” for the glory of God? Is it really possible to make much of Christ in “everything” I do? Is it really possible to live “every moment” of my life as if I was on the brink of eternity? And is it really possible to “constantly” practice self-examination? Of course the answer to each of these is no. I guess I have always been a little bit ambitious and it shows in these resolutions. But as I have reflected on these resolutions and as I have attempted to follow Christ over the years, I have realized that God has indeed set the bar very high for His children. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus even said, “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) Is it possible to be perfect as God is perfect? Certainly not, and it is only through Jesus that we can be forgiven of our imperfections and stand before almighty God. But following conversion, the Bible makes it clear that following Christ is a serious endeavor that is not to be taken lightly. To be Christians (or Christ followers) means that we are following the One who is perfect in every way. This requires that we be completely dependent upon the grace of God every day of our lives. In light of all that, we must conclude that serious callings require serious resolutions. I fear that too few Christians understand the high calling of God upon our lives. If we did, our lives would show it. Don’t be afraid to set the bar high in your life even if you think it’s impossible. If you are a true Christian, the bar has already been set high, so why not aim to get as close as you can to it, by God’s grace. Have a great rest of your day.

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