Summary: One of our New Year’s resolutions out to be to please the Lord, and this message gives us some practical ways to do that.
Plan To Please Him
Text: I John 3: 22
Intro: At this time every year, we hear a lot about New Year’s resolutions. Generally, the resolutions people make have to do with things about themselves they would like to change. They cover the spectrum of human life, from losing weight to simply being a better person. However, making resolutions for change in one’s life is all too easy. It’s the follow-through that’s tough. The fact is, very few people who make New Year’s resolutions actually fulfill them.
In most cases, our broken resolutions aren’t earth shattering. If the truth were known, most resolutions are just wishful thinking. Most people don’t really take them seriously anyway. However, as Christians, I believe there is one resolution that we would do well to make. But if we choose to make this resolution today, we need to take it very seriously, for its fulfillment will mean daily dependence upon the Lord. This resolution isn’t possible through mere will power. The resolution of which I speak is that of pleasing God. Since this obviously has to do with our relationship with the Lord, I want to offer some biblical suggestions that are sure to help us be pleasing to Christ.
Theme: In order to please the Lord we need to:
I. BE DEDICATED TO HIM
A. Commit Your Way To Him.
Ps.37: 5 “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”
NOTE:  The word “way” refers to one’s “course of life or mode of action” (James Strong, S.T.D., LL.D., The Exhaustive Concordance Of The Bible, published by MacDonald Publishing Company, McLean, Virginia; #1870 of the Hebrew And Chaldee Dictionary, pg. 31)
 The words “commit thy way unto the Lord” carry the idea of “roll thy way upon the Lord” (Professor F. Davidson, M.A., D.D., editor, The New Bible Commentary, published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan; pg. 438). This basically means that one entrusts their life to the Lord for safekeeping.
 By the way, folks, if you don’t commit your whole life to Christ, there will always be room for Satan to produce corruption.
On a recent trip to Haiti, I heard a Haitian pastor illustrate to his congregation the need for total commitment to Christ. His parable: A certain man wanted to sell his house for $2,000. Another man wanted very badly to buy it, but because he was poor, he couldn’t afford the full price. After much bargaining, the owner agreed to sell the house for half the original price with just one stipulation: He would retain ownership of one small nail protruding from just over the door.
After several years, the original owner wanted the house back, but the new owner was unwilling to sell. So the first owner went out, found the carcass of a dead dog, and hung it from the single nail he still owned. Soon the house became unlivable, and the family was forced to sell the house to the owner of the nail.
The Haitian pastor’s conclusion: “If we leave the Devil with even one small peg in our life, he will return to hang his rotting garbage on it, making it unfit for Christ’s habitation.”
Dale A. Hays, Leadership, Vol. X, No. 3 (Summer, 1989), p. 35.
B. Surrender Your Will To Him.
Luke 22: 42b “…not my will, but thine, be done.”
Rom.12: 1b “…present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
NOTE: Apart from surrendering your will to God’s will, there can be no real dedication to God.
Will is the whole man active. I cannot give up my will; I must exercise it. I must will to obey. When God gives a command or a vision of truth, it is never a question of what He will do, but what we will do. To be successful in God’s work is to fall in line with His will and to do it His way. All that is pleasing to Him is a success.
Henrietta Mears, Dream Big: The Henrietta Mears Story, quoted in Christianity Today, June 21, 1993, Page 41.
II. BE DEPENDENT UPON HIM
A. We Must Never Trust The Arm Of Flesh.
Prov.3: 5 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”
II Chron.32: 7 “Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him:
8a With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battles…”
NOTE: One of man’s biggest problems is the misconception that we can handle our own lives by ourselves.