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Monday, December 3, 2012

Worthy Resolutions

By R. W. McAlister
     A song we often sing when an invitation to obedience is extended is, “I Am Resolved.” It speaks of commitment to Christ and verse 1 says, “I am resolved no longer to linger, charmed by the world’s delight; things that are higher, things that are nobler, these have allured my sight.”
     Verse 2 speaks of being resolved to turn to Christ, and leaving behind sin and strife.
     Verse 3 tells of daily, faithful service and obedience to the Savior, while in verse 4, the resolution is made to enter the Kingdom, choosing God and Heaven over sin and friends.
     What resolutions have you made – or plan to make – in 2013? Some of the most popular ones are to: lose weight, save more money, stop cursing, spend more time with family, criticize others less, and read the Bible more.
     While all of these are worthy goals (especially reading the Bible more), I want to suggest a few things that go beyond weight loss and saving money.
     1. Resolve to set spiritual goals. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:1-2). Some examples: Resolve to attend all the services of the Lord’s church (Heb. 10:24-25). If you’re not giving back to God at least as much as was required under the Old Law, resolve to increase your contribution (Lev. 27:30-33; I Cor. 16:1-2). Study your Bible more (II Tim. 2:15; II Pet. 3:18). Understand that fellowshipping denominations is sinful (Eph. 5:11) and study the Bible’s teaching on that subject (I Cor. 1:10; II Cor. 6:17)
     These are only three examples, maybe you can think of more, but the point is to set a spiritual goal for 2012. One thing is certain: if you aim at nothing, you’ll hit nothing.
     2. Resolve to be right with God. Are you sure of your salvation? If Jesus were to return in the next few seconds, would you have confidence of your eternal security? Have you obeyed the Gospel? Endless doom awaits those who haven’t (II Thess. 1:6-9). What profit is there if you gain the whole world, but lose you soul? What would you give in exchange for your soul (Mt. 16:26)? Repent and be baptized if you’ve never done so (Acts 2:38). If you’re a wayward Christian, repent and pray God’s forgiveness (Acts 8:22). “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:26-31).
     3. Resolve to do more for others. Be more of a peacemaker (Mt. 5:9). New Testament Christians live in a spiritually lost and dying world, so share the Gospel more (Mt. 28:19-20).
     Focus more heavily on a stronger commitment to Christ (Mt. 6:33; Gal. 2:20). Encourage others and build them up (Rom. 14:19). If you think your congregation needs a better preacher or better elders or deacons, pray for them (I Tim. 2:8; I Tim. 2:1-3). Be an encourager, not a complainer.
     As we begin this new year, let’s not limit our resolutions to losing weight and saving more money, let’s establish goals that are really important! Let’s grow “in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (II Pet. 3:18). Resolve to put your faith in God and expect to do great things through His Son in 2012 (Phil. 4:13).
  - R. W. McAlister preaches for the Anna Church of Christ in Anna, IL.He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.annachurchofchrist.com/ 

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