New Year Resolutions

The New Year is upon us and in just a few hours we by God’s grace and mercies will enter the year 2012. What are your resolutions for 2012? The top 10 resolutions that people make are: 1.To have a slim and trim body. 2. Find a stimulating job that will hopefully also double your income. 3. Take up a new sport or hobby or to learn something new and improve your skills. 4. Buy your dream home. 5. Travel to an exotic destination. 6. Have more fun and make new friends. 7. Quit smoking or give up a bad habit. 8. Spend more time with the family. 9. Volunteer and help others. 10. Be more organized and punctual. I am sure you too have thought about some of the above resolutions. But the only problem with the above list is that is working towards a better self and not working towards better relationship with God. It is highly and equally important that we also make spiritual resolutions and commitment to God as you enter the New Year. Jonathan Edwards was a Pastor, theologian and missionary in the 18th Century to the Native Americans. At the age of 19 he wrote 70 resolutions over the course of a year. These he resolved to read over each week, and to keep by God’s grace. The strong determination to keep God’s glory as the priority in his life led him to make these resolutions. Let me quote a few of his resolutions (full list of 70 resolutions can be easily downloaded from the internet).

The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards (1722-1723): Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God's help, I do humbly entreat Him by His grace to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to His will, for Christ's sake. I will remember to read over these Resolutions once a week.

3. Resolved, if ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again. 4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it. 5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can. 10. Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell. 14. Resolved, never to do anything out of revenge. 16. Resolved, never to speak evil of anyone, so that it shall tend to his dishonour, more or less, upon no account except for some real good. 28. Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same. 30. Resolved, to strive to my utmost every week to be brought higher in religion, and to a higher exercise of grace, than I was the week before. 42. Resolved, frequently to renew the dedication of myself to God, which was made at my baptism; which I solemnly renewed, when I was received into the communion of the church; and which I have solemnly re-made this twelfth day of January, 1722-23. 46. Resolved, never to allow the least measure of any fretting uneasiness at my father or mother. Resolved to suffer no effects of it, so much as in the least alteration of speech, or motion of my eye: and to be especially careful of it, with respect to any of our family. 48. Resolved, constantly, with the utmost niceness and diligence, and the strictest scrutiny, to be looking into the state of my soul, that I may know whether I have truly an interest in Christ or no; that when I come to die, I may not have any negligence respecting this to repent of. May 26, 1723. 69. Resolved, always to do that, which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it. Aug. 11, 1723. 70. Let there be something of benevolence, in all that I speak. Aug. 17, 1723

Dear Friends, What are your resolutions for 2012? May the Lord help you to prayerfully examine your resolutions in light of what you have read and may He cause you to commit yourself to His grace and strength by which you can do all things for His name’s glory.

Pastor Mathews