"RESOLUTIONS FOR THE NEW YEAR"
1. As a New Year begins, I am reminded of the fact that we are one year
a. The day of our death, or the day the Lord returns
b. That day when we shall stand before the Lord in judgment
- 2 Co 5:10
c. That day when He will either say...
1) "Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared
for you from the foundation of the world" - Mt 25:34
2) "Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire
prepared for the devil and his angels" - Mt 25:41
2. Since we are one year closer to that day when our final destiny will
be forever determined, let me use this opportunity...
a. To provoke your thinking as to how you have used this past year
b. To suggest some resolutions for the coming year
[My goal is to encourage us to make better use of the time we have
left, and to prepare us for the day of reckoning that awaits us. Let's
begin, then, by asking...]
I.IN THE PAST YEAR
A. HAS OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AND CHRIST IMPROVED?
1. Have we drawn nearer to God? - cf. Ja 4:8
2. Bearing in mind that a close relationship depends upon good
a. Have we been faithful in listening to God through His Word?
1) Another year has gone by; did we read through the Bible
2) If not, and especially if we never have, can we honestly
say that we are taking our relationship with God
b. Have we been steadfast in talking to God through prayer?
1) Any effective communication requires a two-way street
2) Therefore fervent Bible study should be joined with
3) Has our degree of prayerfulness increased or decreased
B. HAS OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH BRETHREN IMPROVED?
1. Has our love for one another increased this year? - cf. 1 Th
2. Are we any closer to one another than we were a year ago?
a. E.g., have we been in the homes of brethren?
b. E.g., have any of them been in our homes?
3. Do we even know who our brethren are?
a. Each year brings new members into the family of God
b. Have we made the effort to know them? Even by name?
C. HAS OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THOSE IN THE WORLD IMPROVED?
1. As people of God, we have an important responsibility toward
those in the world - cf. Mt 5:13-16
a. To be a positive influence ("You are the salt of the
b. To demonstrate a better way ("You are the light of the
2. Have we made progress this year in developing meaningful
relationships with people in the world?
a. So the light of Christ can be seen in our lives
b. So the gospel of Christ can be communicated to them
3. Or are we like most "neighbors" in this day and age...
a. Living next to each other, but not really knowing each
b. Having forgotten the lost art of "Southern hospitality"?
[The questions I am raising can be summarized in this way: "Another
year has gone by; have we made good use of the time the Lord has given
us, or have we wasted it?"
It is likely that all of us in some degree have not made good use of
the past year. But at this point, let's apply the words of Paul:
"Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one
thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching
forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal
for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
With this attitude of pressing forward, let me suggest the following
II. FOR THE YEAR AHEAD
A. RESOLVE TO DRAW NEARER TO GOD AND CHRIST...
1. By having a daily reading program of God's living and abiding
Word - He 4:12
a. Read the Old Testament this year - cf. Ro 15:4; 1 Co 10:11;
2 Ti 3:14-17
b. Read the New Testament also - Ja 1:21; 1 Pe 2:2
2. By being diligent in prayer - He 4:14-16
a. Let's be a thankful people - cf. Co 4:2; 1 Th 5:17-18
b. Perhaps Daniel's custom of praying three times daily would
be worthy of emulation - Dan 6:10
B. RESOLVE TO BECOME CLOSER TO THE BRETHREN...
1. By making it a point to learn every one's name - cf. 3 Jn 14
a. Get a directory
b. Each week, connect a couple of names and faces until you
learn them all
2. By having a different person or family in your home each month
- cf. 1 Pe 4:9
a. It doesn't have to be a fancy dinner
b. Just a simple visit to become better acquainted
3. Or by visiting a different person or family each month
a. It might not always be convenient to have people in your
b. But you can arrange to visit them in their home (if you are
alone, take someone with you)
C. RESOLVE TO GET TO KNOW NON-CHRISTIANS BETTER...
1. By having one new neighbor or co-worker in your home each
month - cf. Ga 6:10
2. Or by visiting one new neighbor or co-worker each month
a. It doesn't have to be a fancy meal or formal visit
b. It is amazing how far simple hospitality and neighborly
kindness can go...
1) To build meaningful relationships
2) In which opportunities can be created to share the
1. These resolutions may sound simplistic; but if implemented, they go
a long way...
a. To producing the kind of lifestyle that is becoming of Christians
b. To increasing closer relationships with God, our brethren, and
1) That will bless our lives
2) And be a blessing to the church and our community
c. To create a clearer conscience next year at this time
2. Time is a precious commodity, given to us by God...
a. That is truly like a vapor - cf. Ja 4:13-15
b. That needs to be carefully redeemed - cf. Ep 5:15-16
-- I hope that these suggestions for resolutions for a new year will
help you in making better use of it!
If you are not a Christian, or a child of God who has strayed from the
Lord, you need to make the best use of the time you have NOW...
"We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not
to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says: `In an
acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation
I have helped you.' Behold, now is the accepted time; behold,
now is the day of salvation."
(2 Co 6:1-2)