Every New Year people make for themselves goals to accomplish in the new year.  For me, I had several.  I had personal goals I hoped to accomplish in my physical training.  I wanted to run 2 half marathons this year.  I wanted to try to do one day of RAGBRAI, and I wanted to complete my first obstacle course run.  Even among these, I had little goals set on them too.  I wanted to lose another 20 lbs before my first half marathon.  I wanted to be able to do a pull up before my obstacle course run and I wanted to be able to run both half marathons in under 2 hours.  I was all psyched up to get this year started.  Then Dawn got pregnant, we lost the baby, and Randy gave us that invitation on New Yearís Eve. 
He reminded us that while setting physical goals are important, none are as important as setting forth spiritual goals.  He challenged us to make 2015 a better year for our faith than 2014.  So, I ask you, how has your New Yearís resolutions going?
Did you fail to make any spiritual goals?  Sadly, I think many of us fall into this category.  My friends, being a Christian isnít supposed to be a one time event in our life.  Being a Christian is not something you did one day when you were immersed in the watery grave of baptism.  If all you have done in your service to God is get dunked 50 years ago, 5 years ago, or 5 months ago you have not done enough!  God has not called you so that you can sit on your laurels and do nothing.  God has called you, so that we might walk worthy of your calling (Eph. 4:1).  The good news is that you donít have to wait until the next New Year to make a resolution to be better.  You can make it today.  Resolve increase some aspect of your faith; attendance, daily reading of the scriptures, preparing for bible study class, (if a man) leading in the worship assembly, overcome a temptation that has been a thorn in your side, etc
Did you start off well only to see yourself crash?  As a person who has struggled with dieting most of his life, I understand the pitfalls of making big goals for yourself.  I canít count the number of times I lost 20 lbs only to gain 30 back when I came off of the diet.  This is the biggest problem with most resolutions.  We make big plans for ourselves and once life happens we fall off of the bandwagon and often times we end up worse off than what we were.  Peter alludes to this in his second letter. 
ďFor it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.  But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire (II Pet. 2:21-22).Ē  While Peter here speaks of the one who has completely fallen from grace, there is some precedent set here about our own walk as Christians.  Those Peter warned about made a resolution.  They resolved to put off the world.  They resolved to be Christ-like.  They resolved to not sin and let grace abound (Rom. 6).  And yet, that is exactly what happened.  They knew that the mire that they wallowed in was not good for them, but they returned to it anyways.  This is what happens when we turn our back upon our resolutions.  Look at the ones that you have made.  More often than not, we make these resolutions because we know that our lives will be better for it.  Perhaps you resolved to give up smoking.  Based upon the lesson preached a few weeks ago you would have been encouraged to keep that resolution as we discussed the physical and spiritual ramifications of smoking.  Knowing that it not only leaves a dark spot on your lungs, but a dark spot upon your soul you resolved to no longer be mastered by the drug nicotine.  If you pick it up again, knowing that it is bad for you, you are like the pig returning to wallow in the mire after being made clean.  While you may not have completely turned your back upon God, you have brought another master into your relationship with the Master in Heaven and he wonít and will not tolerate that.
Perhaps your New Yearís Resolutions are still going strong.  To that I say keep up the good work.  Not only will you benefit from growing spiritually, so will your family and so will this church.  Keep growing because we need you to be strong for us when we are feeling week.  Keep growing strong because we need you good example.  Keep growing strong because we need you to help this church to grow.

Grinnell church of Christ
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How's Your New Years Resolution?

The Light
Volume 6 Issue 7