Summary: Making Resolutions and How God Offers Us Admonitions Via The Apostle Paul
December 29, 2019
In 2020, I resolve to:
Walk in Love
5 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For [a]this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them.
Walk in Light
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the [b]Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather [c]expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are [d]exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says:
“Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”
Walk in Wisdom
15 See then that you walk [e]circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Therefore do not be unwise but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
I’ve got to tell you: I quit making New Year’s resolutions a long time ago. Why? Because I am a total failure at keeping them. What is one of the most common resolutions among Christians? “This year, I am going to read the entire bible.” Very few of us are successful in keeping them. Think of all the promises that you’ve made over the years as resolutions. Honestly, there is no biblical or religious aspect to making “new year’s resolutions”, is there? What I want us to think about is the aspect of keeping our word and keeping our faith.
There is absolutely nothing wrong about making new year’s resolutions. It is a secular tradition. Years ago, while attending school; at a military academy where my family thought I could improve some behavioral issues. (enough said about that). I resolved to read the bible through from cover to cover. I actually did it. The only thing that I accomplished was being able to say that I did. Beyond that, nothing. It served no purpose; I didn’t retain any and didn’t understand much. Reading is like a lot of what comes out of our mouths, if it is not from the heart, what good is it?
As I look back over the years, I recall way more failures than successes in keeping new year’s resolutions. How about you?
What if we make every effort to understand and apply the teachings of the Apostle Paul, in today’s reading, as this year’s resolutions? Because we know going in that we will stumble and fail, doesn’t mean that we will quit and give up on ourselves. It goes back to another of Paul’s admonitions:
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” Hebrews 12:1
What that says to me is – Don’t be a quitter; don’t give up; if you fall, GET UP; run that race to the finish! This is one of the great things about our faith – failure is a choice not an imposition. When we fail (and we all do) we can be forgiven and get right back in the race.
So, what shall we garner from Paul in this reading?
“Be imitators of God” “Walk in love” verses 1 &2
LOVE? Yes, love. We LOVE and serve God by loving and serving each other. Where have we heard that before?
Paul admonishes us to have no part in immoral, unclean, or covetousness behavior. (vs 3-6) Let me add “In thought, word and/or deed”. We all do to some degree, don’t we? So, we find an area to really concentrate on this year – The things that we think about that we know we should not, the things that we say that we know we should not. And the things that we do that we know we should not. Wow, that’s a tall order and only with God’s help can we accomplish it. So, let’s ask HIM every day for that help.