As we draw closer to the beginning of a new year, thoughts of past accomplishments and failures might crowd our mind. Thinking back over the last twelve months we might wonder what we could and should have done better and what things worked out like we wanted them to. Many will also now take this time to make “resolutions” to be undertaken during the coming new year.
Christians are in like manner commanded to “…walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:15-16). As children of God let us look at some things that we should lay aside and things to resolve to do which will bring us closer to Him.
First of all, we should lay aside “all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings” desiring “the sincere milk of the word” (I Peter 1:1-2). Unless we put off those qualities that are sinful hoping for closeness to the Father is wasted effort. The Christian should also lay aside lukewarmness, which is, being neither zealous for nor ambivalent toward godly service. Revelation 3:15-16 gives us this warning: “…because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”
Additionally, those who would faithfully serve Christ must lay aside worldliness. This is exactly what is written about in 1 John 2:15-17. Nothing should be in our lives that might hinder our entrance into heaven. Most of all we should lay aside anything and everything that keeps us from growing stronger in faith and knowledge. As the apostle Paul wrote,
“I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-14).
There are also some resolutions that each Christian should make. For instance, a faithful child of God will resolve to be happy in the new year. The prophet David wrote “Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD” (Psalm 144:15). If indeed God is the one you serve, than each day should be filled with some happiness.
A Christian should also resolve to improve themselves. This is what Paul wrote about in Phil. 2:5. To become more like Christ is another resolution that a Christian should make. In fact, it is written to “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phi 2:5). Servants may never be above their master but they can be like them (Matt. 10:24-25).
Each of us should resolve to read the Bible and pray every day. This was Paul’s exhortation to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:13 when he said “…give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.”
Perhaps most importantly, Christians should, as all should, resolve to resist the devil. James says that when you resist Satan that he will “flee from you” (James 4:7). At the eve of the New Year, lay aside everything that will keep you from getting closer to God and resolve to do that which will take you closer to Him.
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