For The New Year
We made it! Here we are. It's a new Lord's Day in a brand New year. It's time to let go of the past and focus on the goal. XXXX for this congregation was a positive year. We enjoyed steady attendance and growth, both spiritually and numerically. We accomplished much good for the Lord last year. The goals that we achieved last year are now gone and they are no longer ours to lean upon. This is a new year that requires it's own goals. These goals are sometimes thought of as resolutions.
There are many people who make resolutions and many people who fail in keeping them. We need to do something more that just have some resolutions we need to resolve. We must resolve to do more for the Lord this year. We sing a hymn from Sacred Selections #642 by Palmer Hartsough and J. B. Fillmore that proclaims, "I am resolved no longer to linger. Charmed by the world's delight; things that are higher, things that are nobler these have allured my sight." It is this resolve that will bring us to the place that we need to be. Each of us needs to look within ourselves to determine, according to the scriptures, what it is that we lack. To help you in that direction consider these resolves.
Resolve to never again say, "I can't." A challenge that will not easily be met with our own strength we must seek that which is supplied from above. Philippians 4:13 proclaims, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Did Paul think that He could jump off a cliff or swim the width of the Mediterranean through the strength Christ supplies? No, although many today have taken this important verse to that level by falsely claiming great physical feats accomplished by Christ's strength, We know through further study that what was supplied was strength to find contentment and desire to do God's will no matter the situation that confronted Paul. Then by application, in any situation we are confronted with, we can be comforted with the knowledge that Christ freely supplies strength. The strength to say "I CAN" can be yours. Trust in God; Let Him be your strength (Ps. 18:1-3). God's word encourages us to be "doers" (Jas. 1:22-24). We need more "doers" not "I can't doers." We need individual members all working to the fullest of their ability in service to the Lord. God's word reveals how we can be fully armed to say. "I CAN " Eph. 6:10-18. I resolve to never again say, "I can't"
Resolve to never again to be without. Philippians 4:19 says, "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." God created man with three basic needs: Physical, mental and spiritual. Physically: We are commanded to work (Gen 3:19; 1 Thess 4:11; 2 Thess 3:10). Mentally: mental health requires something to do, someone to love and something to look forward to. God provides work to do (2 Thess.3:10), family & friends to love and fellowship within worship (Rom. 12:1-10 Eph. 4:16)and the heaven (2 Timothy 4:6-9; John 14:1-6) to look forward. Spiritually: God provides a spiritual cleansing through Our Savior Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:8-9; Rom. 6:3-6). In which we are set free from the bonds of sin and are able to pursuit righteousness. God also provides a guide - His word (2 Peter 1:2-3; Psalm. 19:7-11, 119:100-105) to direct our steps. Then also through the exhortations of His word and our brethren we receive encouragement (Phil 4:13; Phil. 3:13-14; 2Tim 4:6-8). To remain faithful to God is to have all these things. To wander from God is to be without. I resolve to never again be without!
Resolve to never again to worry. Impossible? God doesn't think so. We are told to, "not worry our lives" (Matt. 6:25). We are to much rather cast our cares upon God (1 Peter 5:7). We are further exhorted to, "Let not your heart be troubled" (John 14:1) and "Be anxious for nothing; (Phil. 4:6-7). We can overcome anxiety and fear by: Believing in God's desire and ability to care for us (1 Peter. 5:6-7). Learning to be content (Philippians:11-12; 1 Tim. 6:6) and by finding strength in prayer (1 Peter 5:6-7; Philippians 4:6-7). I resolve to trust God and never again worry.
Do not make resolutions that you will not keep. We have goals that must be met. We must be effective workers for the Lord this year. Resolve to no longer linger. Resolve to remain faithful, not worry and say, "I can".
By T. Sean Sullivan
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