Resolutions or Commitments
Another year has come and gone and many of the aspirations we had have fallen short. We just did not get the job done, so to speak. Often at the threshold of a brand new year we make resolutions, things we decide upon, generally on the spur of the moment, without giving much thought to how these desires will be accomplished. Even if we had foreknowledge, it would have been impossible for us to imagine the things that have transpired this past year, especially with the “Covid 19” and the volatile election. It has been said, “When everything has been said and done, there is more said than done.” Basically, that is usually the problem with making resolutions. Most of them are broken before the newness has worn off.
On the other hand, commitment means to do or say something that will involve a pledge, a promise or an oath. The Apostle Paul proclaimed, “I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted (committed) to him (God) for that day” (Timothy 1:12b). Paul was encouraging all believers, that whatever they entrust or commit to him (God), he will enable us to perform what we desire to accomplish.
I feel one of the greatest needs of the Church today is having a people who are willing to completely commit their lives to God, as well as to their family and to a body of believers.
First, how do we commit to God? We must obey his Word. That, in short, is we must love God and love one another, even loving our enemies. If we love God, we will want to come to his house and worship him. We are the worshippers, God is the recipient. This takes commitment. If we love others we will want to share our hope with unbelievers as well as gather together with fellow believers to encourage one another. This takes commitment.
Second, how do we commit to our spouses and our family? It is no secret that the marital status of America is rapidly deteriorating. Statistics show us that almost 50 percent of marriages today fail, and the average tenure of a marriage is less than six years.
If there ever was a time for believers to reinforce their marriages it is now. The family circle is being disembodied by a lack of family-oriented functions that encourage interest to help keep the unit together. It’s been said, “A family that prays together, stays together.” Also, “Lives are fragile, handle them with prayer.” Prayer must always be an ingredient in the mixture that produces a successful, happy home. We need to reinforce our family circles as an example to the unbelievers as well as believers.
Chapter 12 of Romans shows how we are all gifted in different areas, yet together we can function as a body. “So in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently, if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.”
Also in Romans 12, we read, beginning with verse 9, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil, cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
We missed a lot this past year because of governmental restrictions on most everyone, including the churches, which affected our church body in meeting as often as we were used to meeting; also the uncertainty of the presidential election, regardless of what side of the aisle you choose; and the tragic condition of our children being deprived of going to school most of the year.
In situations like we are facing in our world today, I am reminded of 2 Chronicles 7:14 for encouragement, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” We all know that our land needs healing.
May we all do our part throughout this new year to improve our relationships with our God as well as one another. Happy New Year!
Pastor Jake StirnemannJanuary 1, 2021