Week of December 30
By Skip Heitzig
Every year, about 40 to 45 percent of people in this country will make resolutions for the New Year. That’s great. But only about six percent of those people will keep them!
I want to invite you to make a resolution based on 2 Peter 3:17-18. “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever.” Peter warns that some people will fall away from the faith, and he encourages believers to stay strong.
There are three words I want you to put in your resolution. One is “grow.” This is the year your relationship with God could really take off. I pray that none of us would have the notion that we’ve “arrived,” that we’re fully mature. If you have walked with the Lord a long time, great! But only when you’re dead and in God’s presence have you “arrived.” Until that time, we should be adding to our faith the things Peter mentions in chapter 1, verses 5-7: virtue, knowledge, etc.
The second word is “know.” Growing and knowing go together, but knowing is a little different. Jesus said we should love the Lord with all our heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37). Paul said to be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2). We need to engage the mind, to think clearly, to grow by knowing. This could be the year that you give yourself to seriously studying the Bible. Get into the Word so you can know who He is, and know the truth. As you know the Bible you’ll add discernment, the ability to tell what is true from what is false.
And third, “go.” It’s my prayer that you’ll get up and go, that you’ll serve in some capacity, to make some kind of difference, and in so doing glorify Jesus Christ in your community. It’s our privilege as believers to serve Him.
Just as you are saved by grace, you are kept by grace, and you’re going to need God’s fortitude to keep this resolution every day of the year. But Jesus promised he would be with us to the end of the age. So what do we have to worry about, if He has us in His hand?
A lot of people look to the future with fear. As believers we should be confident and joyful about the future. So I want to wish you a Happy New Year, and I want to wish you the joy of the Lord. If you’re not prone to be a joyful person, I pray that the Lord would change that, that the joy of the Lord would be your strength.
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Nancy Leigh DeMoss’s book Choosing Gratitude encourages thankfulness in every circumstance; includes a 30-day plan for journaling, prayer and activities to encourage her.
The special journal “Rejoice” contains verses of encouragement on 240 lined pages to record her journey to gratitude.
Hillsong United’s latest CD, Zion, is an incredible album that will help draw her into worship of our magnificent Lord.