Every year I begin with this message related to goals and resolutions. I’m always surprised at the number of people who speak ill about making resolutions. The discussion is usually focused on how resolutions always fail. Many say that it seems wrong, or at least unwise, to set goals when you are just being set up for failure. While I agree that making a resolution carries a risk of perceived failure, I would also make the case that attempting some resolutions can be a grand adventure; and some resolutions may actually be accomplished.
Over the years, I’ve set several goals related to running; the first was set in 2003 when I set a goal to run 500 miles. I had never been a runner prior to setting that goal but the resolution became a big part of my life. I ended up running 1500 miles in 2003. In 2015 I ran in the Boston Marathon in April, finished 5th in my age group at the St. Jude Marathon in December, and ended the year running 3050 miles. Yes I believe that setting goals or resolutions can be useful.
But there is a type of resolution which carries much more significance than running or any other physical goal, definitive things we can do which have eternal significance. Jesus said it well as He admonished the Pharisees: “You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. First clean the inside…and then the outside also will be clean” (Matthew 23:25-26). Most of us make resolutions which are focused in some way on the external, things like exercise or diet. Few resolve to make the more important changes.
The Bible speaks about the initial transformation which occurs when we become a “new creation” in Christ. We call this initial transformation Salvation, and it is ALL by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8). But the Bible also speaks about the on-going transformation as we draw closer to God and achieve the peace and contentment found only in His presence. This is a process called sanctification.
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Bible reading would make a great resolution for 2016. If you began a plan last year but did not finish, please do not be discouraged. Rather, consider what you accomplished and simply continue. It really makes no difference if you finish the Bible in one year or in two or three. But a habit of reading and studying God’s Word can make a lasting transformation in our life.
There are several reading plans posted on my web site at:
I will also continue to post the daily reading sections at the bottom of every devotional message.
There are many other resolutions which would help the process of transformation. So on our list of things to do differently this year – our list of resolutions – I pray we include more time with God in prayer, more time in His Word, more time loving Him with ALL our heart, seeking His presence, and earnestly desiring to know, and do, His will. I also pray that we all do a better job of learning how to love one another as Jesus first loved us. Let’s pray for one another, that we would draw ever closer to our Heavenly Father and experience His love new and fresh every day. In this new year, let’s make eternal resolutions as we resolve to be transformed!
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries
**** Reading Plan ****
Jan 1 Genesis 1:1-2:25; Matthew 1:1-2:12; Psalm 1:1-6; Proverbs 1:1-6
Jan 2 Genesis 3:1-4:26; Matthew 2:13-3:6; Psalm 2:1-12; Proverbs 1:7-9
Jan 3 Genesis 5:1-7:24; Matthew 3:7-4:11; Psalm 3:1-8; Proverbs 1:10-19
Jan 4 Genesis 8:1-10:32; Matthew 4:12-25; Psalm 4:1-8; Proverbs 1:20-23