It has been a satisfying Christmas season: time with my wife and youngest, my oldest daughter came home from her first semester of college, my mom is spending three weeks with us, and I have a manly grand kiddo on the way from my son and daughter-in-law. It has been a good holiday season and I am certainly blessed more than I deserve.
But as I did last year at this time, I feel a new year looming upon me. A…new…year…365 days of growth, decisions made, relationships nourished, and new opportunities. Not all easy days, in fact, some really difficult ones, but the sum total of these past days, weeks, and months of 2014 have pushed me to new paradigms and renewed views of the great God I serve.
As we are but days away from a brand new, warranty-not-yet-expired year ahead of us, I have a few brief thoughts to close out the year.
According to statistics that I read, 45% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. Most resolutions revolve around some type of self-improvement, such as losing weight or getting more organized. While 75% of people maintain their resolution past the first week and 46% after six months, only 8% actually obtain their goal that they set around this time each year.
I don’t throw out this stat to discourage you or say you should not make resolutions for the new year. In fact, it is quite the opposite. What I am encouraging is to set your sights on ensuring that the goals you do set are worthy of pursuing and will push you to new platitudes of growth that touch many areas of your life.
Allow me to throw out four prayers from Ephesians 1 that are worthy of becoming your next “I am resolved…” resolutions.
These four come from Ephesians 1:17-19:
17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe…
And so for 2015, I resolve:
- to pursue the Spirit of wisdom in the knowledge of Jesus in order to make me discerning in knowing Him personally;
- to better know the hope that lies ahead for me, allowing me to properly view His specific calling for my life;
- to realize that my riches are not in what I can gather together in the here and now but that a glorious life exists…right now…and it is found in the person and work of Jesus; and
- to live as if there is truly immeasurable power dwelling within me through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Sure, I want to be stay fit and healthy, read more books, and use my resources more wisely. These are good and these are noble pursuits.
But in having read through the book of Ephesians around 30 times over the last couple of months, I realize my deficit in being more resolved in things that are best, are worthy, are grand, and that will push me to more joy, more peace, and more satisfaction.
Happy New Year’s to you, to each of my readers, who read my posts.
I hope they perhaps have pushed you to some new thoughts about how you can view all of life with more clarity as it relates to the Gospel.