Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well!
This week we enter a new year! Good bye 2019. Hello 2020!
Have you made any new year resolutions yet? Before you do, let’s top up our coffees and look at the data surrounding the success of resolutions.
Readings for Jan. 5: 2nd Sunday after Christmas
1 Kings 3:4-15; Psalm 119:97-104; Ephesians 1:3-14; Luke 2:40-52
At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” . . .
[Solomon replied,] “Give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, I will give you a wise and discerning heart… so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you wealth and honor – so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. (1 Kings 3:5…13)
It’s a new year. For many people, with a new year comes new resolutions. These resolutions are simply commitments to a better you. For many it’s a commitment to better health through better eating habits or increased physical activity, or a commitment to quitting or cutting back on a habit that is harmful to your health. It can be a commitment to a personal goal set with work or a hobby. Although a resolution is made with great determination and hope, I am not sure how many New Year resolutions are achieved. Over time, the commitment peters out until we don’t really think about it anymore, until the next December 31st. I know my past resolutions never saw fruition, not even one. How about yourself? How has your resolution success rate been?
This resolution failure rate clearly shows that each of us are plagued with the same flaw… sin. We know what we need to do for the thing we love the most – ourselves- but we can’t even follow through with these tasks. It’s like St. Paul said, “For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.” (Romans 7:18b-19)
Therefore, how about making a paradigm shift in your thinking. Instead of focussing on yourself this new year, and a new you, physically speaking, how about focussing on a desire and attribute that God desires for you, like any of the fruits of the spirit as listed in Galatians 5:22-23 or a spiritual gift as given in 1 Corinthians 12 or putting on more often any of the pieces of armour of God as stated in Ephesians 6:10-18. Once you’ve decided and prayed about which godly task you wish to grow in, ask God to give you the strength. Go to God as if you are responding to the same question he posed to Solomon. Then, just like Solomon’s request was pleasing to God, so will your request be pleasing to God. With these types of requests, God always answers a resounding, “Yes!” In fact, he will not only give you the power and strength to grow in him and accomplish your task, he will also bless you with your earthly desires in ways you never dreamed of. Did you know that Solomon became the wisest man that ever lived?
So this new year, do not set yourself up for failure. Do not depend upon yourself to change, but seek the Lord and he will transform you from the inside out. 100% guaranteed. In Christ, there is a 100% success rate and 100% satisfaction. You can count on it!
Prayer: Dear Lord, I have made so many self-improvement resolutions in the past without much success. I clearly see my weak and sinful nature. Please forgive me my sins and self-centredness. Help me grow in you. Lord I lay my life in your hands, and ask that you guide me to (place Godly attribute here). In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN!