New Year Resolutions
Happy New Year! Out with the old and in with the new. I particularly find the practice of making New Year Resolutions interesting. It is commonly looked at as a frivolous and fruitless exercise. Every year, people all around the globe “resolve” to do, or not do some action … and then begin waiting for the time when they lose their “resolve”, break the resolution, and can get on with their lives in much the same way they did last year. How rare is the individual that commits to a resolution and then doggedly pursues it through trials and tribulation?
Yet this is precisely what we as Christians are called; nay, commanded to do. Jim Petersen, in his book Living Proof, states that a complete definition of evangelism, as described by Jesus and expanded upon in the epistles, involves two aspects:
- The Proclamation of the Gospel: an action through which the non-Christian receives a clear statement of the essential message.
- The Affirmation of the Gospel: a process of modeling and explaining the Christian message.
We are more familiar with the first, often treating it as the comprehensive means of evangelism. Proclamation is essential, but it is not the whole of the matter. The second is what I would call Lifestyle Evangelism; this is where we as Christians are the salt and light in this world. The existence of a unique people, whose lives are marked by God Himself, has always been fundamental to His program for reconciling the world to Himself. His people incarnate His Character; we are meant to audio-visualize the nature of His eternal reign.
It strikes me that New Year resolutions are analogous with becoming a Christian; by the transforming grace and power of God, we now desire to live new lives. Out with the old and in with the new. We are resolved, as Christians, to do, or not do, some actions. How many claim this new life … and then begin waiting for the time when they lose their “resolve”, break the resolution, and can get on with their life in much the same way they did in their “old” life? How rare is the individual that commits their life to Christ and then doggedly pursues Him through trials and tribulation? We are the first account of the Gospel that most people will ever read. Either they will desire more, having read us, or they will decide that there is nothing there for them. So let us resolve to live out the new life we now have in Christ!
December 14, 2017
September 25, 2017
June 19, 2016