Every year I send out the same first message titled Off The Throne where we are challenged to release the control of our lives into the hands of God. The next message is always related to goal and resolutions. I am one who is quite supportive of resolutions. Sure, many resolutions will fail. But is that any reason not to set goals for the new year? And what if…
On New Year’s Day, in 2003, I made a resolution to run a certain number of miles. It’s not really important what the goal was, but it motivated me to start running. After a few years I stopped running, but I began again about eight years ago – and now, running consumes much of my free time. God has blessed me with good health and a lack of major injuries. I will turn 60 years old in August, and, if God allows me to continue running, I could be one of the best, older, long distance runners in the USA. Making resolutions and setting goals have the ability to alter the direction of your life. And I promise it won’t make you look as crazy as the old man in the picture!
But, of course, 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). Many make resolutions focused on 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 2019. Another good resolution might be to live by more of the things we have already read! If you began a plan last year but did not finish, please don’t 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 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
Jan 5 Genesis 11:1-13:4; Matthew 5:1-26; Psalm 5:1-12; Proverbs 1:24-28
Jan 6 Genesis 13:5-15:21; Matthew 5:27-48; Psalm 6:1-10; Proverbs 1:29-33