Dluxe's World

Monday, January 1

A New Year, a New Leaf...

Well, today the internet will be flooded with people posting their New Year's Resolutions. Last night, Eva and I had the chance to ring in 2007 and talk about everything under the sun with some wonderful friends. At least part of the evening revolved around ridiculing my pop-culture geekdom and blogging... So how can I resist making a New Year's post myself?

Yesterday afternoon, I ran across a copy of the resolutions of Jonathan Edwards (the preacher, not the politician). I had read of these before, but never actually read them... So I took the time to read them through. Consider just these selected ones, and remember that Edwards was writing as a 19 year-old student.
1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God's glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriad's of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many and how great soever...
...
4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.

5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.

6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.
...
8. Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God.

I don't know whether Edwards started this list (which he added to until his death) as a set of New Year's Resolutions or not... But I do know that there's a lot more meat and substance in there than in most of the things we decide to try to carry out each time we buy a new calendar.

Over the past year, I've spent a lot of time reading through Paul's 2nd letter Timothy... Someone once said that dying men spare no words, and that certainly is obvious in Paul's letter. The time of the Apostle's end is drawing near, he's been abandoned, and writes a closing letter to his "beloved child". As someone aspiring, if God wills, to be a pastor, Paul's words hit me right where I live as well.
Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:20-26)

So, there is my Resolution: Through God's grace and aid, I resolve to flee my youthful passions and instead sanctify myself so I might be useful to Christ.

Sound's fluffy, doesn't it? But I do have some very practical things in mind:
  1. My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19), but I sure don't treat it that way. So, I resolve to watch my health - including my diet - so I can run the race Paul mentions in 2 Tim 4 without keeling over miles from the finish line... Or at least assuring myself of a nasty sprain.
  2. I want to continue to attack my pride. My head swells with perceived grandeur when it should be bowed in humility (see ol' Jonathan's #8 resolution above). And I certainly don't want to be seen as a grumpy Calvinist...
  3. God's greatest gift to me and ministry for me is my family. I pray that I can honor God by being a better spiritual leader for my wonderful wife and beautiful kids.
  4. When I look at the world around me, I want to be broken-hearted. There are so many people around me who don't know Christ - in my neighborhood, at work, etc. If I really get what the Gospel is all about, I'll look on them with love and fear for their fate. I pray that God will give me His eyes and a boldness to humbly proclaim their need for a Savior.
All of these are aspects of sanctifying myself for Christ, who bought me. When Christ prayed for his disciples in John, he prayed that God would "Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth" (John 17:17). So, in all these things things I desire, I lean on God's work - through the truth of Scripture and His Spirit's kneading it into my heart - to make any of it happen in me.

A Blessed and Happy New Year, everyone!

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