Within the litany of different Christian heroes, Jonathan Edwards certainly has his place both in secular as well as Christian history. One of the particular things Edwards is undoubtedly known for are his 70 Resolutions. These are statements wherein Edwards resolves to live his life a certain way with the intention of God being glorified in all Edwards did on a daily basis (see resolutions at http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/articles/the-resolutions-of-jonathan-edwards).
With the season of Advent behind us, we now face the advent of another New Year. Although Edwards did not pen his resolutions as New Year’s resolutions, he did pen them as everyday resolutions. Hence, for Edwards, as it should be for all Christians, our goal to glorify Christ in all we do is not to be a goal we reach somewhere during the year (or, don’t reach as is oft the norm for many who make New Year’s resolutions), rather a goal we reach or even a state of living we find ourselves moving toward on a daily, yea, hourly basis.
As typical with each New Year, I aim to spend some time in self-evaluation, attempting to see what areas of life I could sharpen from this past year in my character and calling, as a husband, dad, and laborer in the local church, as well as make some resolutions.
Here are some resolutions I made and areas of life I want to work on:
- to love God more and better through my actions and time
- to love Amber and Isaiah more and better through spending more qualitative time with them
- to share the Gospel more
- to study some of the Bible in the Greek New Testament everyday
- to spend longer periods of time in prayer
- to have more discipline in exercising (yea, right! please don’t ask me how I’m doing with this one)
- to give more financially this year than last
- to go through 3 books with my mentor (I hope he reads this, lol)
Peter uses the word vήψατε (ne-pas-te) in his first epistle to urge believers to be “clear-headed, attentive, focused, and self-controlled” (1 Peter 5:8). He urges them to be such for many reasons, but in particularly because Peter knew Satan seeks believers and we must be vigilant in relying on the Lord for aid. While at the same time, Peter knew believers are prone to fall prey to the seemingly unavoidable lures of the world which sway us from our walk in Christ. In a similar way, setting resolutions implies a call to be attentive and focused, thus helping is to live out the resolution(s) we have made.
Perhaps some self-evaluation and setting of New Year’s resolutions may help you, as it does me, as Edwards’ resolutions helped him. That we as believers may be more focused and attentive toward the things of God and His passions, thus fueling a deeper walk and more intimate fellowship with Christ the Lord in the New Year.
Here’s to another year, living in light of the God of the ages, our Lord, who is Christ the King.