Honest to God: Resolutions

by Jim on January 1, 2013


Welcome to the 27th Episode of the Ministry Encouragement Podcast.  Today we will be examining a topic which is being widely discussed as we advance  into a new year.  We’re talking about resolutions – intentions – promises to ourselves, others and even to God.

There are years where we have made bold, daring and impossible resolutions.  Some made resolutions to make their first million dollars.  Others made resolutions to win the Heisman Trophy in football.  Still others made a resolution to not make any resolutions at all.  There have been a variety of extremes on this topic.

What makes for a powerful, yet realistic resolution?  This kind of resolution can be brave but is tempered by reality.  It can be strong, but the one who makes it must believe in his or her heart that it’s within reach – something that can be done.  Sometimes our resolutions may be physical or be focused on gain.  And then there are spiritual resolutions, higher resolutions which focus not on our own gain and status, rather, those resolutions that can lead to spiritual transformations.

The Bible tells us of resolutions that were made and broken.  In the Old Testament, God’s courageous Prophet, Elijah, faced and defeated the assembly of the Baal prophets and was resolute in modeling an enormous victory for God and God’s people.  Yet, shortly after that incredible victory Elijah fled and hid in a cave, trembling at the prospect of Queen Jezebel taking his own life in revenge.  This account is located in the book of I Kings, chapter 18.

And in the New Testament, we find Simon Peter who declared to Jesus as his disciple that if everyone else fell away from him that he would never do so.  And then Jesus predicted Peter’s denial and betrayal.  Jesus told Peter, “Before the cock crows this very night, you will betray me three times.”  Peter’s reply was confident, “Never!”  His highest resolution failed, at least for a time in his life.  This can be read in the Bible, in the book of Matthew, chapter 26, verses 31-75.  Though Peter could not keep his highest resolution, Jesus continued to pursue a closer relationship with him.  Later in Jesus’ ministry, after the Resurrection and post-resurrection appearances, Jesus specifically asks for Peter.

So I encourage each one of us as a minimum this year regarding our resolutions –  let’s be honest with God.  Lofty resolutions that are easy to make yet don’t represent our heart are worth very little.  So why not this year let’s seek to make resolutions that will bring honor and glory to God?  Our resolutions can prove high, noble, pure and can be accomplished with God’s direct intervention in our lives.  We can know the victory and an entire new outpouring of JOY because we shared in seeking to carry out these resolutions.  Here then are three resolutions I am presenting honestly to God:

Resolution #1:  I resolve to love and worship God more fully with thanksgiving –

  •  My intention is not be caught in the fog and quicksand of religion and religiosity
  • The first and foremost focus on on a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ
  • Am I worshiping, adoring, loving and honoring God above all other relationships?
  • Am I giving thanks and building into all the blessings that God has given me?

– Reviewing the many amazing gifts that God has given to each of us

– Romans 12:1-2 (The Message)

Resolution #2:  I resolve to serve others in ministry and genuine love – 

  • Help it not be all about me, God.  With your power, may I truly get over myself and being first
  • I want to remember that I am called to serve others in ministry – authentically (Christian Community)
  • Help me to be bold and strong, not ashamed of the Gospel, while being willing to be a friend to those who are different
  • Give me the passion and courage to share the stories from the Holy Bible with others

– Reviewing a few of the major stories and texts to share (Old Testament & New Testament)

* OT: Abraham, Moses, Daniel & lions den, David & Goliath, David-Bathsheba & Nathan

*NT: Birth narratives of Jesus, Calling of the James, John and early disciples, The Samaritan woman at Jacob’s Well, Good Samaritan, Prodigal Son, Last week of Jesus including the Cross & Resurrection, Saul’s conversion, First Corinthians 13

– Review of John 10:10

Resolution #3: I resolve to walk daily as an agent of reconciliation, serving as an Ambassador for Christ –

  •  I recognize and refuse to settle for simply living in a world filled with anger and division
  • I pray to become a peacemaker – an initiator of reconciliation in relationships
  • May God use me to share possibilities of healing, hope, forgiveness, and newness of life in Christ
  • The power for all this will come through the Holy Spirit living inside of my life – comforter, counselor, paraclete

–  Review John 14:15-17


With all of these intentions and resolutions being stated, I want to acknowledge that we are all called to live a life of Divine Grace in Christ.  We all have struggles in our lives, our families and extended families.  We each have skeletons in our closets that we just don’t bring out except rarely.  We have issues that we wrestle with.  And we are wise to not compare ourselves to others who may seem to have more or less than our own.

Ultimately we are being invited into Christian Community, grounded in our personal relationships with God through Christ and the living of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  It is in this context that all of this can make sense.

I want to thank each of you for sharing in our Ministry Encouragement Podcast as we turn the new year!  Your emails, phone calls and sharing this podcast with others you know is a great affirmation and encouragement to me.  I pray for you all often and covet your prayers for me and our ministry of Proactive Ministries.  You may share our website with others at this address: www.proactive-ministries.org

You may contact me at my email: jim@ministryencouragementpodcast.com or calling our ministry offices in Smyrna, Georgia at: (770) 803-9988.

Blessings on each one of you until our next Episode.

In Christ’s Grace With You,

Rev. Jim W. Hollis

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