It’s the dawn of a new year.  For some of us this past year was a good one, for others a difficult one, and for some perhaps it was a year of little consequence or significance. But consider this. God graciously gives us 365 days in which to praise Him, to thank Him, and to serve Him . . . no matter our circumstances. Blessed be His name! 

Let’s pause as we venture into the new year and consider some wisdom from God’s Word. In the book of Ecclesiastes, the preacher laments all of life “under the sun.”  But in the close of his message, he reflects an understanding of real wisdom and truth.

Eccl 12:10, 13-14  The Preacher sought to find acceptable words; and what was written was upright; words of truth. . . Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.

A New Year, A New Start

With the new year, many consider it to be a new start. The “slate” of the past year is wiped clean and they anticipate a fresh new beginning. Many people make efforts of growth by setting New Year’s resolutions. The word resolution means, “a formal expression of opinion or intention made . . . a determination . . . the act of resolving or determining a course of action.” That says it! “Determining a course of action.” As the New Year is upon us people set out to determine a course of action and the purpose is to fulfill the desires of their hearts. 

One might say that the preacher in Ecclesiastes, who penned the inspired words, was in a state of constantly  “determining a course of action.” He had looked to fulfill the desires of his heart by worldly standards, but toward the end of his life he “sought to find delightful words” and he sought to “write words of truth correctly.” 

These are undoubtedly two of the best resolutions we could make for 2018.  Seek delightful word and share the truth correctly.

The preacher’s  conclusion is certainly worthy of our consideration and would be another resolution worth setting: 

“fear God and keep His commandments”

God says to us through the preacher that this is “man’s all.”  That means it applies to all of us and is of utmost significance in directing our lives.

If we are going to make New Year’s resolutions, let’s take counsel from God’s Word and set them according to His standards. 

Will that which we resolve reflect a joyful spirit and convey God’s truths? Will it reflect our fear, reverence, and love for God and our obedience to His will? We need to conform our will to God’s will, and determine our course of action to be: fear God and keep His commandments, for this “for this is the whole duty of man”  (Ecc 12:13 KJV).

The preacher offers wise counsel . . . For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil. (Ecc 12:14) 

And so, as you consider a course of action for the New Year, a “resolution” for growth, remember every work is either good or evil in God’s eyes.  Keep your eyes on Jesus and know that He has promised the Holy Spirit will guide you.  Set your resolutions according to God’s will revealed in His word. And then determine, by the power of the Spirit, to live a victorious life of loving and glorifying God in all you do.

 

John 14:21  “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. . .”

John 14:23  Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. . .”

John 15:10  “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love. . .”

Be Ready Always...

to give a reason for the Hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15).  When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace.

When leaving a tract, always be diligent to pray about the short gospel message. Pray that it be found by someone who is in need of Jesus’ saving grace, and pray that the person will have a tender heart and open ears to receive the gift Jesus desires to give them.  

By the power of the Holy Spirit, even a small tract can help in turning a broken sinner from darkness to light.

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