Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Every year I am baffled by all the resolutions that people make to break. Did you know 40% of Americans will make a resolution for this year? Only 8% of those people will keep them. Of course because I am a math person I want to put that into perspective for you. 40 of 100 people will make a resolution. 8 of 40 people will keep that resolution. 1/5 that is the fraction of people who will follow through.
I don’t know about you, but I’m just not into resolutions. Sure I could try to be skinnier, I did insanity all summer. In 60 days I did not look like any of those people, but I ate right and I tried. Of course this fall I broke my leg and now I am completely out of shape and can’t walk without a limp. I’d sure like to have a cleaner house, a more spiritual prayer life, better behaved children…………..wouldn’t we all. The thing about all these resolutions is that the best of intentions are empty.
Ephesians 2: 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
All resolutions are empty without God and his Grace, but with God a resolution can become a revolution. You see a revolution is defined as: a sudden, extreme, or complete change in the way people live, work, etc. Sudden, extreme, and complete doesn’t sound like an 8 out 100 people achievement. It sounds like a radical act of God. Now you have to ask yourself what does He want you to be resolved to do?
I’m not saying God doesn’t want you to lose weight, or have better behaved children. But what if God has something amazing in mind and you can’t see it because you’d rather settle for a puny resolution when you could have a powerful act of God revolution. So ask yourself are you settling, and more importantly why?
I think we settle because we’re afraid. I think big things are scary. When God moves it’s unexplainable, it’s powerful, and we are never the same. I know it scares me, and I’m pretty sure it scared Peter. He stood there in that boat starting out on the water knowing he could take that step. I don’t think he would have dared if he hadn’t been walking toward his trusted friend. And there in lies the problem for you and me……We may want to step out of the boat. We may even know that we could step out of the boat, but do we trust God enough to do it.
Ask yourself this question if my church was made up of people who are all just like me what would it look like? How would the worship be? How would the prayer life be? Would we be reading our bibles enough? Could my church do great things with our tithe? How about serving, would anyone be doing it at all? Now I’m going to make a tiny confession. When I ask myself those questions I am filled with shame and doubt.
If everyone were like me, we wouldn’t be praying powerful sun stand still prayers enough. In fact; 1Thesselonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing, is something I just don’t live up to. I know the verse, but if I don’t stop and make the time there are days that I’m just too busy being busy. Of course if everyone served like me we’d each serve one service a week. That would be a vast improvement for some, but for others who give 2-6 hours a week to the church………Yeah I don’t live up to that. Not to mention reading the bible. For years I didn’t do it at all, and for me this was one resolution that became a revolution. So as I hang my head in shame realizing I am not good enough…………..God whispers the word YET and my heart soars.
I cannot be enough. I cannot do enough. I cannot give enough. I cannot pray enough. I cannot worship enough. I cannot be enough. I am fatally flawed, filled with sin, and I will never measure up. No resolution will ever be enough.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Alone I am just not enough………………….Yet he sent his son to die for me.
Matthew 19:26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Alone I am just not enough, but with God………………
This is the thing you need to remember about resolutions. They are impossible. We can never truly change on our own. It is our sinful nature and it will shine through. The good news is God knows that and he love you anyway. He loves you despite you not being enough. He loves you because of who you are. He loves all your faults and flaws. And here’s the really amazing part if you ask him to he’ll help you to change. If you ask he can make you better, and even though you will never be perfect he loves you anyway. He wants you to know he’s not finished YET.
So I encourage you to hear the words of David Phelps in this beautiful song and to think about the beginning as you begin another year.
“He walked on the water, healed The lame, and made the blind to see again.
And for the first time here on earth we learned that God could be a friend.
And though He never, ever did a single thing wrong, the angry crowd chose Him.
And then He walked down the road and died on the cross and
that was the end…of the beginning.”