Well, it’s January 2022 and we face those dreaded New Year’s resolutions once again. I don’t know if you have made any for this year or if you annually participate in making any or not. Some people choose not to because those same resolutions are routinely broken by mid-January! According to a recent Fox News poll, many Americans are fed up with New Year’s resolutions for that very reason. If you are like me, you can identify with them.
According to 2021 statistics, the four most popular New Year’s resolutions for 2021 were exercising & improving fitness, losing weight, saving money, and improving one’s diet. These are quite common resolutions, and while they are important and certainly worth pursuing, I want to share three with you for 2022 that I believe are distinctly biblical and have enormous value for you not only this year, but also for years to come:
- This year I will obey the Great Commandment.
- This year I will commit to the Great Commitment.
- This year I will pursue the Great Commission.
The Great Commandment is in Matt. 22:37-38: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment.” Loving God with all you got, heart, soul, and mind, involves daily worshipping and obeying Him (1 Jn. 5:3: “This is love for God: to keep his commands.”). Worship is giving God our best 24/7. We worship in response to who God is and what He does for us. We also worship God corporately when we gather as a church family on a weekly basis. While the Lord is present inside each of His children, when we come together to worship as the church, He is present in a unique way.
Furthermore, we obey the Great Commandment in loving God by maturing in relationship to Him through the study of the Bible and its application to our lives. The Bible is the owner’s manual for life. God’s will is in God’s Word. The more we hear, read, study, memorize, meditate upon, & apply it to our lives through individual pursuit or through the preaching & instruction in the local church, the more successful and fulfilled we’re going to be.
In 2022 resolve to obey the Great Commandment.
The Great Commitment follows upon the Great Commandment in Matt. 22:39: “And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’’ In John 13:34-35 Jesus said: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” This love involves relating with people individually or fellowshipping in small groups and reaching out to serve others, using the spiritual gifts God has given each of us to help each other reach our God-given potential in Christ. Prov. 27:17 says: “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” We’re not just called to believe; we’re called to belong to a family of believers. This takes an unselfish, sacrificial commitment of time, talent, and financial resources on our part.
In 2022 resolve to commit to the Great Commitment.
The Great Commission is in Matt. 28:19-20: “ . . . go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” This involves compassionately meeting the physical needs of others and sharing Jesus Christ locally, nationally, and internationally through evangelism and through supporting various mission efforts. 1 Pet. 3:15 says: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” This means we should always be prepared to tell people who we were before Christ, how we came into relationship with Christ, and what our lives in Christ has been like since following Him.
In 2022 resolve to pursue the Great Commission.
Many people make New Year’s resolutions and quickly break them because they are not too terribly serious about them to begin with. Many others make none at all for fear they do not have the tenacity to stick with them. Make 2022 the year you make the above biblical, and spiritually beneficial resolutions.
You will benefit, those around you will as well, and God will be honored.
Happy New Year!