Water for the Thirsty
Weekly Devotional

Water for the Thirsty

Resolve To Do Good

Weekly Devotional

‘As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you, O God’. (Psalm 42:1)
‘…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”…’ (John 7:37)

2nd January 2011

Here we are at the beginning of another year, and it’s time again to think about making some resolutions that are actually going to make a positive difference in our lives. I know that New Year resolutions get a bad press because they usually don’t last much beyond the third week of January, but let me encourage you to make some resolutions for good. I think that this is what God would want us to do. Here’s why:

Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (ESV)

‘To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ’.

Here Paul is praying for us and my prayer for you over this coming year is that God will “fulfil every resolve for good” that you have.

This means that it is good to have resolves (resolutions). God approves of it. It also means that while our resolving is important, it is God’s enabling us to “fulfil” the resolution that is crucial. Paul wouldn’t pray if God’s help weren’t needed.

‘We plan [resolve] the way we want to live, but only GOD makes us able [fulfils] to live it’. (Proverbs 16:9 The Message)

But it does matter how we resolve.

When Paul says, “every resolve for good and every work of faith,” he is not describing two different acts. He is describing one act in two ways. It is a “resolve for good” because we will it. It is a “work of faith” because we depend on Jesus to give us power to fulfil it.

That’s how we resolve - by faith in Jesus.

So Paul says that the fulfilling of our resolve is “by his power.” That’s what we are depending on. That’s what we are looking for when we resolve. That’s what will ensure our New Year resolutions progress beyond January.

We are looking to Jesus who promised to be with us and help us.

‘Through…the generous response of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, everything he wants to do in and through me will be done’. (Philippians 1:19 The Message)

And then, as Paul explains, ‘…the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you…’ (2 Thessalonians 1:12 ESV)

When you resolve something good and trust in the power of Jesus to help you do it, then “the name of our Lord Jesus is glorified.” If you depend on your willpower, your name will be glorified.

So Christian New Year resolutions (in fact any resolutions) are different from the world’s resolutions.

We believe that by grace alone we have been called. We resolve things not to make God be for us, but because he is already for us - that’s what his call makes plain. He opens our eyes to see and trust Christ. He shows us in the cross that he is totally for us. All our resolutions are to walk more worthily of this calling.

They are faith resolutions - faith that we are loved and called and justified. And faith that Jesus will help us do what we resolve to do. When we resolve like that, the name of our Lord Jesus is magnified.

So pause sometime soon. Pause and examine your life this New Year. Examine what is missing that should be there. What is there that should be removed? What new hopes for ministry might you have?

God will be pleased with new resolutions for good if you resolve by faith in Jesus.

I am praying for you “that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfil every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power.” and am seeking to glorify the Lord Jesus with you, according to His grace.

Have a good week resolving to do good.

Pastor Barry

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