2016-01-02 - The Best New Year Resolution
How many of you make New Year resolutions? The Statistic Brain Research Institute reports that 45% of Americans usually make a New Year resolution, while 17% never make resolutions. About 38% of us infrequently make them. The most common resolutions involve health, diet, money, and lifestyle changes. How many Americans are successful in keeping their resolutions? According to the same source, only 8% of us are successful in keeping our resolutions. Forty-nine percent infrequently have success, and 24% never succeed.
The best New Year resolution of all is found in the Book of Philippians. Paul makes a resolution that he wants to keep, saying' "I want to know Christ." (Philippians 3:10, NIV) Paul was a devout Jew who followed all the rules and traditions of the Hebrew faith. In Philippians 3:5, Paul describes himself as "a Hebrew of Hebrews." Yet Paul considered all of his background and accomplishments as a loss, due to what happened on the road to Damascus. There is where Paul met Jesus, and his life changed forever. All of Paul's previous efforts fell short. Only by inviting Jesus into his heart, did Paul become righteous with God.
In Philippians 3:10, Paul makes a resolution to know Christ better. Paul wants to live his life by faith in Jesus' finished works. I think Paul's resolution would make an excellent New Year resolution for us. Our New Year resolution could be "I want to know Christ better each and every day." How do we get to know Christ better? We keep our resolution by spending time with Him. We get to know Jesus better by talking to Him, by asking questions, by listening to Him through His Word. We know Him better by reading and studying His Word. We know Him better by going to church to study His Word and hear His Word preached. We grow closer to Jesus by sharing His story with others.
So if you make no other resolution for the New Year, I challenge us all to make just one this year--"I resolve to know Jesus better each and every day."
All scripture references are from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise noted.