Summary: New Years often bring resolutions of all sorts, but how about a resolution to become a better Christian?
Well it’s 2011, who would have thunk it. And I would suspect that there have been a pile of New Year’s resolutions made in the past 2 days and if the truth was known there have probably been a pile of New Year’s resolutions broken in the past 2 days.
We have probably all verbally or silently, publicly or privately resolved to do something different this year then we did last year. Some will finally decide to give up the demon tabbacy, other’s myself included have decided to do battle with a more acceptable vice and that is food. You ever notice that the Christian argument against smoking and drinking: they are addictive and harm the temple of the Holy Spirit, ie our bodies, don’t seem to hold water for gluttony. Interesting.
You say Pastor the reason I’m overweight is that I have a glandular problem. Me too, if you consider the mouth a gland. Actually I decided a long time ago that I’m not overweight I’m under tall so my New Year’s Resolution is to get taller in 2011.
So what are your resolutions for 2011? Big, little, practical, impractical, what have you decided to change about your life in the next twelve months? On December 31st of this year will you be the same person you are now? A better person? Or a worse person? Will you have won a victory over some area of your life or will you have gone down to defeat? I want to go on record right now as saying I believe you can do it. And I know that you are sitting there thinking “But Denn you don’t even know what I’m struggling with.” You’re right, I don’t, but I know my God and I know that he can give you victory. Do you believe that? Do you believe that you are a partner in faith with the Almighty God?
Do you remember what Gabriel told Mary in Luke 1:37? That’s right, Nothing is Impossible for God. “For nothing is impossible with God.” And if no thing is impossible with God then all things will be possible with God.
When Paul wrote his letter to the early believers in Philippi this is what he told them Philippians 4:13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
It doesn’t say “I can do some things” or “I can do the easy things” or “I can do certain things.” What the word of God says is “I can do everything.”
Perhaps as we step into a new year you need to apply those words to your particular situation. Perhaps you need to write down
“I can quit smoking with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.”
“I can lose weight with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.”
“I can stop being negative with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.”
“I can learn to love the unlovable with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.”
“I can become a stronger Christian with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.”
You know there are a lot of things in life that are impossible, there are a lot of things in this life that you will never be able to accomplish by yourself, but when God is your partner nothing is impossible.
Each year we resolve to be better parents, better spouses, to give up this and start that but how about making a commitment to walking deeper with God? To becoming better and stronger Christians?
Perhaps by December 2011 it could be said of you as Paul said of the believers in the city of Corinth in 2 Corinthians 8:7 Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us—I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving.
You understand that when we read the section of the Bible called the epistles, which means letters that we are in fact reading other people’s mail. This section begins with the book of Romans and continues through to the book of Jude. It’s made up of twenty one books and represents at least five writers; I say at least five because there is some debate over whether Paul wrote the book of Hebrews.
And so Paul begins this statement with these words: You excel in so many ways: Paul is writing to the believers in the city of Corinth, which if we bring up a map we discover was located in what we now know as Greece, which is funny because back then it was Known as Greece. And even though the letter was written specifically to the believers in that church 2000 years ago because God in his infinite wisdom included it in what we now call the New Testament it applies to us as well.