An online polling firm found that only 32% of people did not plan on making New Year’s resolutions. Of those who will, here are the top five:
1. Eat better.
2. Exercise more.
3. Spend less money.
4. Get more sleep.
5. Read more books.
Sadly, February 4 is the day most fall off the wagon. Data from one online retailer reported that customers’ alcohol consumption picked up by about 40% in the first two weeks of February—while juice-cleanse sales dropped by 25%. Also, more ice cream and pizza are eaten in early February than during the first two weeks of January.
If only we could be more like Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), considered America’s greatest theologian. At age 19, he didn’t just make a few New Year’s resolutions, he made 70 LIFETIME resolutions and prefaced them with these solemn words: “Aware that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do pray that, by his grace, he will enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are in line with his will, and that they will honor Christ.” Here are three of them:
#37: Resolved: To inquire every night, as I am going to bed, where I may have been negligent, what sin I have committed, and how I have denied myself. I will also do this at the end of every week, month, and year.
#38: Resolved: Never to speak anything that is ridiculous, trivial, or otherwise inappropriate on the Lord’s Day or Sabbath evening.
#45: Resolved: Never to allow any pleasure or grief, joy or sorrow, nor any affection at all, nor any degree of affection, nor any circumstance, but what advances the gospel.
I don’t think you’d invite ole Jonathan out for a beer and Spiderman 3.
It’s also traditional for the pastor to give his congregation resolutions that he would like them to keep in the new year. I only gave two. I’ll give the first one this week, and the second one next week.
Resolution #1: Have a daily quiet time with God.
Pray this the night before: “Lord, I want to meet You the first thing in the morning for at least 10 minutes. Tomorrow when the alarm clock goes off, I have an appointment with You.”
This is how to spend those 10 minutes: After getting out of bed and taking care of your personal needs, find a quiet place and with your Bible enjoy God for 10 minutes.
The first 60 seconds: Prepare your heart. Thank Him for the good night of sleep and the opportunities of the day.
The next 7 minutes: Read your Bible. Your greatest need is to hear some word from God. Read for the pure joy of reading and allowing God to speak. To read one chapter in the New Testament will take less than seven minutes.
The next 2 minutes: He spoke to you; now you speak to him.
Important! Do not become devoted to the habit, but to the Savior.
Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) said, “”If we are weak in communion with God, we are weak everywhere.”
Let’s get strong in 2022.