Summary: This New Years sermon deals with the subject of resolutions and suggests a simple resolution any one can make to simply live by faith.
CHCC: December 26, 2010
Has anyone decided what your New Year’s Resolutions will be for 2011? Before you do it, let’s take a look at how Resolutions tend to work out… Here are some examples:
2007: I will read at least 10 books this year
2008: I will try to finish the book I started last year.
2009: I will read most of my email this year
2010: I will sometimes read the comic section of the Sunday paper
Or for those of us who are constantly worrying about weight:
2007: I will work out 5 days a week and eat 500 calories a day until I lose 20 pounds
2008: I will work out 3 days a week and try to lose the 5 pounds I gained last year
2009: I will walk my dog and throw out that box of Twinkies next week.
Or for those of you with money issues:
2007: By next year I will be completely out of debt
2008: By next year I will pay the interest on my credit card
2009: By next year I will transfer my debt to a new credit card.
2010: By next year I will be out of the country
It reminds me of the man who said, At the end of my life, I hope many people will say of me: “Boy, that guy sure did owe me a lot of money.”
How many of you have ever made a list of New Year’s Resolutions about weight or health or money? Most of our resolutions are about getting rid of bad habits or starting up good habits. When I was younger, I used to make really ambitious resolutions, but I’ve learned the hard way that I’m better off to keep things SIMPLE!
A few years ago, our church leaders all read a book called Simple Church. I loved that book, but decided to take it a step further and came up with the idea of the simpleton church. I wrote about it in a blog which you can read on my blog site (www.skiddingintohome.blogspot.com)
In like manner, recently, I started a Simple Diet… Actually, I call it the Simpleton Diet (also available to read about on my blog). What I do is eat one item per meal. You may be wondering how large that one item is, but the point is that I used to eat three or four items per meal, and I have whittled it down to only one item. In the last two months I have managed to lose about 20 lbs. doing the Simpleton diet. It seems to be working for me just fine.
Now that Christmas is behind us and New Years is coming … I thought we’d talk about making ONE Simple New Years Resolution (or maybe I should call it a Simpleton Resolution.) Unfortunately, we tend to make things a lot more complicated that they need to be. Paul warned about this in II Corinthians 11:3 where he said, "I fear, lest by any means … your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ."
Too often, we make our lives complicated and frustrating … when God never meant it to be that way. We complicate our lives when we make ourselves a long list of rules --- and then we try to keep them. We try to whip ourselves into shape … and some of us are pretty good at it. But even for the most disciplined people, as soon as we get one area of our life in line, we start messing up big time in some other way.
You stop drinking, but start chain smoking. You exercise every morning, but when you get home you eat twice as much food for breakfast. You start losing weight but you also lose your sense of humor … or maybe your will to live. You get up early, but you keep going to bed late. You hold your temper at work, but you lose it when you get home. You get your family to church on time, but you yell at them all the way home.
Trying to whip your self into shape is a frustrating, hit-and-miss operation at best!
So, in the spirit of the simplicity that is in Christ. , I’m going to suggest a Simple New Year’s Resolution … based on Galatians 2:20 where the Apostle Paul said: "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."
1. Live by faith:
Live by faith …that’s the New Year’s Resolution every Christian can make every year … and to the extent that we do it, all other Resolutions will fall into place.