New Year’s Eve has passed. The dishes are done, the Christmas cookies have been eaten, Dick Clark earned another wrinkle, and the party favors have been tossed. And so, probably, have been the New Year’s resolutions.
New Year’s is a time of new beginnings, or at least new aspirations. On Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, participants eat apples dipped in honey to picture their wish for a sweet new year. They also cast bread into flowing waters, symbolically casting off their sins. Many of us make resolutions, pledging to change our ways or achieve our seemingly unreachable goals. All resolutions point to a new beginning.
Webster defines resolution as “ . . . determining upon a course of action, method, procedure, etc.” Essentially, it’s a promise to turn over a new leaf, do things differently, make up for past mistakes. How well do we do with our resolutions?
Perhaps what we need is a reVolution. Webster: “A sudden, complete, or radical change in something.” A revolution is more than turning over a new leaf; it’s becoming a new leaf. Or, more accurately, a new person. Only God can do that.
The Bible is replete with resolutions, some of which are listed here:
“As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem . . . but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem” (Luke 11:51, 53).
Paul said, “I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).
“But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way” (Daniel 1:8).
“Then Paul answered, ‘Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.’ When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, ‘The Lord’s will be done’” (Acts 21:13, 14).
“The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed, but woe to that man who betrays him” (Luke 22:22).
Paul told the Corinthians, “So I made up my mind that I would not make another painful visit to you” (2 Corinthians 2:1).
“This man [Jesus] was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge” (Acts 2:23).
“I have decided to assemble the nations . . . and to pour out my wrath on them” (Zephaniah 3:8).
The Bible warns us to not make rash vows: “When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow” (Ecclesiastes 5:4). God takes promises seriously. Watch those resolutions!
What about revolutions? Instead of turning over a new leaf, how about turning your life over to God? He has resolved to change the disposition, destiny, and dwelling of everyone who comes to Him in faith. His promise is, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). The new life is sweeter, and our sins are not just cast upon the waters, but buried in the depths of the ocean (Micah 7:19).
The new year doesn’t just have to be about new schemes, new dreams, more wealth or better health; it can be about a new life in Christ. Our resolutions often find themselves in the shredder of good intentions. God’s resolutions are found in the sure promises of the Bible. Resolve to live by His Word and revolutionize your life.
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