Summary: In this second part to our focus on challenges for the New Year we look at three more spiritual resolutions we need to make and keep in 2009.
Resolutions for 2009--Part II
Introduction: Well, we are now a full week into 2009 and I’m guessing we have begun to settle in, and with the exception of writing the wrong date on our
checks, 2009 seems much like 2008. Even so, I would like to continue with our study in Proverbs 3 of FIVE resolutions that I think each of us should make for
2009. We looked at a couple of them last week, and we are going to finish them up today.
Each of these resolutions is paired with a reward. If you do this--then God will do that. I don’t think we should have to receive a reward in order to do the
things God wants us to do, but I am thankful that God blesses us when we are obedient to Him.
Let’s review the two resolutions that we talked about last week:
Resolution # 1
I will get in the Word and stay in the Word (1-2)
1 My son, don’t forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commands; 2 for they will bring you many days, a full life, and well-being.
There is no substitute for studying the Word of God. Each and every one of you needs to be reading the Bible as an individual, and you need to be involved in
some sort of Bible study with other believers. If you aren’t you are short-changing yourself and others. I know that God is going to bless you if you resolve
to get in and stay in His Word in 2009.
Our second resolution had to do with relationships...
Resolution # 2
I will get serious about commitment to God & others (3-4)
3 Never let loyalty and faithfulness leave you. Tie them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Then you will find favor and high regard
in the sight of God and man.
If you want to be a person of real influence then commit your life fully to Jesus Christ. Once you do that He will teach you and enable you to be committed
to your relationships with others. I realize that commitment isn’t a high prized quality in our society anymore, but why don’t you and I change that! Why not make 2009 a year of commitment--to Christ, and to others.
Let’s move on to our third resolution...
Resolution # 3
I will give up control of my life to God (5-6)
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; 6 think about Him in all your ways,
Proverbs 3:5-6 is a passage that teaches the importance of Lordship. We don’t talk a lot about the "Lordship" of Christ, and the reason we don’t is because we aren’t willing to truly submit our lives fully to Him.
Let me illustrate how we often handle the Lordship of Christ. Suppose a person believes that Jesus died and rose again to save them and accept Him as their Savior. Then suppose that person is going to be baptized. Just as they are getting ready to go under the water they realize that they forgot to take their wallet out of their pocket so as they go under the quickly grab their wallet and hold it above the water.
Do you see my point? It’s not about the actual wallet; saving your wallet from getting soaked is a natural and appropriate response. But I wonder as we consider Jesus’ Lordship, if are there things that we remove from our life and hold above the water and say, "God, you are Lord of all my life except this."
When we do that, you have to realize that He is either Lord over all of our life or He’s not Lord at all.
There is no way around the fact that this scripture says that we are to trust in the Lord with ALL our heart...and that we are to think about Him in ALL our ways. ALL means ALL. ALL never means SOME. And yet, we SOME times allow Jesus to be the Lord of our lives.
One of the most powerful verses on Lordship is found in Paul’s letter to the Romans. Turn with me to Romans 12.
1Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. 2Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
I have heard people say over and over again that they wished they knew what God’s will was for their life. Well, the reality is if you want to know you have to be willing to give up control of your life to Christ.