12/26/07

Celebrate a Fresh Start

New Year’s Day is the first day of the year in the Gregorian calendar, but there’s nothing mystical about January 1st. Actually, the date of New Year’s celebrations has fluctuated, but New Year’s is the oldest of all holidays, first observed by the ancient Babylonians in a festival that lasted eleven days.

In 2004, as I considered potential New Year’s resolutions, I remembered resolutions from previous years. My heart broke as I realized that the great majority of them were related to the physical world—losing weight, spending less money, writing more letters, etc. My resolutions were seldom spiritual, and even when they were, they sprang from unspiritual motives.

Since then, I’ve discovered that there’s nothing inherently biblical about making “New Year’s Resolutions,” but the Bible does teach that the Lord is to be the center-point of everything that goes on in the Christian’s life. So, if we do choose to make resolutions, they need to be Christ-centered and biblical. In an effort to change my perspective, I studied Jonathan Edwards’ 70 “Resolutions for Godly Living.” The great preacher recognized that only God can enable Christians to keep commitments. (I encourage you to download Edwards’ resolutions at: Revive Our Hearts.)

The truth is, there is no power in a resolution; there is only power in God and His Word. The value in New Year’s resolutions for the believer is that each resolution is an opportunity to contemplate change, and that contemplation is best done in the presence of God in prayer, asking Him for insight and wisdom.

Someday the One who sits upon the throne will say, “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5). In that day, there will be no more resolutions—but for now, enjoy the fireworks, contemplate spiritual goals, and celebrate the dawning of another year.

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