THE RESOLVES OF JANUARY
William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person
Here it is! It is not known just what it may bring, but 12 months of time is laid out before terrestrial creatures. They will be filled with something, and there lies within a large majority of folks a deep desire to fill it with things that are choice, more important, noble, lofty goals for the betterment of self and of others. The question is: “do you own this allotment of time, or does it own you? Nothing short of death will stop its progress for each of us. So, how wise it is to own it instead of it owning us.
Resolutions frivolously made are easily discarded and much of the time they are made with a sense of humor, devoid of any intentions to see them become reality. A favorite newspaper cartoon strip is titled “The Born Loser.” I usually read it first for the humor it provides. One January cartoon depicts the born loser’s wealthy boss stating a resolve to give up his pink caviar imported from the Caspian Sea. He then asks the born loser what he resolves to give up for the year. He replies in jest that he is giving up the very same thing!”
The problem with New Year resolutions is that they are made by so many who lack the resolve to carry them out, even if they are fairly simple, doable ones.
In contrast, there are resolutions of spiritual resolve that are carried out with great precision because they do not depend on human abilities or the novelty of a New Year. Rather, they are brought to fruition through the power of Almighty God to Whom is looked for heavenly power and strength. These in stark contrast to human will, are made through the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, and empowered by the same.
Therefore, just what is the deep desire of your heart that you really want to see happen in yourself and/or in the life of others in 2018? Find a secret place and talk it over with the Heavenly Father Who can do exceeding abundantly above all that we think or ask. Surely, this is what the songwriter had in mind as the words of the beloved hymn were written:
“I am resolved, no longer to linger, charmed by the world’s delights. Things that are higher, things that are nobler, these have allured my sight. I will hasten, hasten to Him, hasten so glad and free, Jesus, Jesus, greatest highest, I will come to thee!”
Coming before the Lord in a repentant attitude will yield a level of awareness, understanding, and peace of life that no fleshly resolution could ever bring. It brings one to the fountain of life and power whereby spiritual maturity, and increased hope may flourish: even to God’s garden of tenderly cultivated, nourished, and fruit-bearing saints in His church, the pillar and ground of the truth!
It is the pastor’s desire to be a better pastor, teacher of God’s things. His desire also includes the joy and peace of all whom he knows by the maturity and happiness gushing forth from the Holy Word of God. So may it be!