Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I hope you are finding the start of the New Year to be a blessed time. It is a time for opportunity and making resolutions. One resolution I hope you all have made is the one from Phil 3:15: “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Resolving to follow after Jesus along the path he leads is a worthwhile resolution that has eternal value.
You may have figured out by now, but I have accepted the offer to take over from Wayne McMillian and his radio broadcast. Wayne has retired, and I have started recording (you may have heard a few) what I call, “The Meat and Potatoes.” If you are listening to WMFC 99.3 at 7:30 AM, 11:50 AM, and 4:50 PM, you will hear the broadcast. I hope you can tune in.
Now, one episode of “The Meat and Potatoes” talks about New Year’s resolutions, which follows:
You know that cliché about New Year’s resolutions and the gym?
While it’s a cliché, it’s also real. Well-meaning people sign up at the gym to ‘get in shape’ at the beginning of the New Year. In their mind they are going to be regular. They even pay a year or two in advance for the membership. But, then about January 20th, the crowds at the gym disappear, leaving just the handful of folks that were there in December.
1 Tm 4:8 says, “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” Seeking to be healthy physically is a great thing. It really is. But seeking spiritual health is even better. When you trust in Jesus and live according to his tenets of love and grace, the Lord helps us to stay on track, to persevere, to reach the goal, to gain the prize. And while being in shape is great in this life, godliness puts you in shape for eternity.
This year, may you resolve to follow after Jesus, so that your actions along the way may be defined as acts of godliness. Such acts are righteous works of love of God and neighbor, following the tenets of God’s Kingdom and acting according to the Christian ethic. You won’t be able to do this in your own power, but you are enabled by the Spirit of God to be faithful, “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure (Phil 2:13). Don’t neglect your spiritual disciplines of prayer, reading your Bible, and worship. Commune with God daily. Live your life as an act of worship. Such a resolution can last past January 20th. Indeed, you can glorify God all the days of your life, knowing your life will have lasting effects into eternity. What a hope we have, grounded in the promises of God!