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Dec 29, 2019 08:00am
The Best Resolution Ever
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There is no escaping the fact that we live in a very divided country. It seems that the political division dominates every facet of life to the point that we live in a constant state of turmoil. You can pick almost any issue and pretty much be assured that opinions about it will be split about 50/50.

That split even holds true for the tradition of New Year’s resolutions. About 50% of Americans are serious about them and faithfully make a resolution each year. The other 50% see the exercise as a waste of time.

 So, who is right? 

Probably both. 

Surveys indicate that the success rate of New Year’s resolutions is about ten times higher than resolutions made any other time of year. Since resolutions generally focus on some area of self- improvement, it would seem to be worth the effort. After all, you can’t improve if you don’t try.

So, what’s the downside?

You probably already know the answer to that all too well. Surveys also indicate a long-term success rate on resolutions of only around 20%. Unfortunately, we can end up feeling a sense of failure that can evolve into a vicious cycle that leaves us worse off than before.

So, should we or shouldn’t we?

I can’t answer that question. You know yourself better than I do, so your opinion is the only one that counts – except God’s. He knows you better than either of us, so maybe you should ask him.

But what if there was one resolution that is so important that it impacts every other one? What if there is one that can truly change your life? What if there is one that can impact your life forever – like to infinity and beyond?

Actually, there is. It was modeled for us by a man named Joshua thousands of years ago. The billions of resolutions that have followed all pale in comparison and impact to this one:

AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD.” (Joshua 24:15)

Where Do You Stand?

OK, that was then, and this is now. And what do we do with this in the context of a New Year’s resolution? For each of us, the answer will be different.

—Maybe you are already serving the Lord, but you recognize a desire for growth in 2020. 

—Maybe you acknowledge that the Lord is not a part of your life

—Maybe you are just not sure where you stand

Where Do You Go From Here?

Regardless of where you see yourself as we enter the new year, perhaps there are a few steps that might be of help to you in your resolution process:

1. Decision

—We each must decide about Christ in our life. There is no middle ground. Either we accept the fact that we need a Savior and that Jesus is that Savior or we don’t. None of us has the luxury of continuing to kick the can down the road. As for you, will 2020 be the year that you walk with the Lord or will you reject Christ’s offer? It’s up to you, but “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

2. Reflection

—It seems that the time surrounding the end of one year and the beginning of another is the perfect time for reflection on what God has done for us in the past year. For starters, we are still here. He has allowed us the gift of life for one more year. What have we done with that year? God had a perfect plan for us before he gave us life. Are we cooperating with that plan? It’s up to you, but “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”.

3. Movement

—I have never known of a resolution working without movement. We can think it and speak it but without some movement forward, there is no progress. There are multitudes of godly people willing to help us with our forward movement, but we must reach out to them. There are tons of resources available through books and on line, but we must seek it out.

There is one resource available to us that is above all other. I bet you can guess what it is. Yep- the Bible. Find an easy-to-understand edition and just start out reading the New Testament. If you have not spent time in the Bible, it may seem awkward at first, but it will help, I promise. It is up to you whether you choose to move closer to God or not, but “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”.

4. Asking

—God had a blueprint and perfect design for us from the very beginning. He had a time and place for our existence that fit perfectly into his plan for history. He has a plan and purpose for us today and all the days that he will allow us life on this earth. He has fine tuned his plan specifically for each of us individually. 

But we can miss God’s purpose and plan if we do not understand what it is. And our lives will never be all that they could be. The only way that I know to fully understand God’s plan for my life is to ask him and walk through open doors. And that is not a one-time question. It is a continual daily process that I hope to pay more attention to in the coming year. You get to choose if you will tackle 2020 on your own power or ask God for his direction and control, but “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”.

Whether you choose to participate in the New Year’s resolution tradition or not, my prayer is that the coming year will find you closer to God than ever before regardless of your starting point. But I hope you will consider making Joshua’s resolution your own. It really is the best resolution ever.

AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD.” (Joshua 24:15)

Copyright © 2019 by John Chapman @. Used with permission. 
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