I Am Resolved
A new year dawns and an old one passes away. This time of year we often make promises for the upcoming year. These promises, or 'resolutions', usually reflect our goals and desires for the next twelve months. Whether it be to lose pounds, stop a bad habit, or start a good one, our resolutions define for us what our ideal self is. Unfortunately, as far too many of us know, these promises are fragile and are all too easily broken.
This upcoming year I would like to propose that we as a congregation make a resolution. In fact, it can be the only resolution you make this year. That's right, just ONE resolution. It's my opinion that if we keep this resolution, we will have one of the most spiritually fulfilling years ever in the history of our body of believers. (NOTICE: I said "spiritually" not physically. God doesn't see things the same way the world does.) What resolution could carry such promise? What could we possibly resolve to do that would bless this corner of the Kingdom so greatly?
The answer is found tucked away in Paul's first letter to the Corinthians. As he strives to promote unity in a congregation that struggles with everything from false teachers to marital infidelity to the abuse of spiritual gifts, he reminds them of the secret to his success in planting the assembly at Corinth: "For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified" (I Cor. 2:2 NIV). Why such an extreme resolution? "so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power" (v. 5). The point Paul is making is simply this: if you trust in yourself or some other earthly person, you will fail in what really matters. If you put your trust in God, you will succeed.
If we determine to know nothing except the gospel message of Jesus, God will grant us everything we need in life (remember that whole "seek ye first..." promise in the Sermon on the Mount?) If we determine to know everything through the lens of Christ, we will be able to accomplish whatever God desires for us (Phil. 4:13). When we focus on God's ability rather than our inability and His strength as opposed to our weakness, we will see God's power perfected in us (2 Corinthians 12:9). If we determine to know only Jesus, we will make decisions according to God's will and act according to His purpose.
There is a catch however. Paul's use of the word "resolve" is tricky to define into English. It carries the connotation of a conscious decision that requires critical thinking (the Greek word is, in fact, the root word for critical). In other words, Paul "chose" to know only Jesus. It was a conscious choice that required constant effort. The same will be true of our resolution. We must choose Jesus. We must "determine" (the NAS and NKJV translation of the same word) to be steadfast. We have to look at the world and look at the cross, weigh the options, and choose the cross. Then, and only then, will we truly succeed at being resolved.
Until Next Time,