Posts Tagged ‘faith’

At the end of each year heading into the New Year, people make resolutions seeking change. Some resolutions are necessary components for living a better life. Other resolutions simply serve to satisfy vain, proud, or covetous desires. Mostly, resolutions seem to come from a sense of new beginnings boding, well… something new. All too often though resolutions fall flat. A New Year resolution carries the infamy of the Chicago Cubs; failure is inevitable.

Conventional wisdom might say, regarding resolutions then, that less is more. If a resolution is made, it needs to be small and attainable. But if you are going to go for gold don’t hold any hopes of keeping resolved. Sadly this seems to be the popular manner of making resolutions, which garners well-deserved mockery.

How then should resolutions be regarded? Are they even necessary?DownloadedFile Are they to be taken lightly without the real intent to follow through? Are they simply the moralist’s path to greater self-righteousness? Or do they serve the purpose of working toward your best life now? Is a resolution meant to achieve the peace of full self-actualization? (The peace of self-actualization is nothing more than the western ideological equivalent to the eastern concepts of Nirvana). What are we to do with this New Year tradition?

The answer is relatively simple, make resolutions and resolve to do something good. Everyone must come to grips with pledge making on their own terms, deciding when, how, where, and why, or even if any will be made at all. Resolutions are simply goals, pledges, promises, commitments, and things of the like. In the end it is important for yes to be yes, and no to be no. A resolution could be a beneficial thing, but it also must not be regarded as the moralist’s shovel of redemption. The commit to achieve the best life now, apart from the only One who can give life, will only bring judgment in the end.

A resolution can be beneficial if it is used in proportion to faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus doesn’t desire the work yielded from a resolution. Jesus wants you to trust in him for all things. He desires that you trust in what he resolved to do upon the cross over 2000 years ago, he wants you to trust him now. If a resolution stands for the purpose of making you a better person, so that you might have more good in your ledger than bad… you need a different plan.

However, a resolution can be a tool used by faith. By faith you can resolve to walk in a manner worthy of your calling in Jesus Christ. Ephesians 4:1, urges the believer, “to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.” What calling is this? It is the effectual calling of the Lord Jesus upon his children, whereby he saves them. It is the calling of effectual grace upon the believer’s life. This calling of God upon a person is evident by the exercise of genuine faith in Jesus Christ. Because of this calling, by faith, you can resolve to walk in a particular manner. Making a pledge, a commitment, a resolution to do such has the potential to facilitate the desire to walk in the obedience of faith.

A New Year resolution carries the potential for harm or for good. Like many things in life, they often have the potential for becoming disproportionate to faith in Jesus Christ. In the end, let your yes be yes, and your no be no; trust in Christ Jesus alone and not your resolve to improve. Shoulder the purpose in life to workout your salvation with fear and trembling, resolving to do all to the glory of God while you still live.

Complaining

Posted: October 1, 2011 in Blog
Tags: , , ,

Life is still busy here in the Johnson household. We have a newborn at home who sleeps great, but not as much as I would like. Our remodeling project is going fast, but not as fast as I would like. Not to mention all the work involved with the kids. The grandparents are helping, but not like I want them to. The church is learning, loving, and growing in Christ, but not fast enough. Really, I am finding myself doing the very thing that I hate… Complaining. If you are honest with yourself the grumble bug has bitten you at times as well.

Yes, life is hard, but it is how one views life that is important. Putting on rose colored lenses is not the answer, nor is the all too simplistic solution of positive thinking. I can think I’m happy all day long, but in the end I will be deluded and unhappy with a plastic smile. Complaining does not add anything to ones experience, either than the misery of telling everyone why life is so hard.

What is the solution? Well, I want to say, “Stop Complaining!” That is what I have told myself. More than that though is the consideration of Jesus, holding to him as the one who brings genuine meaning to life, clinging to the one who can bring us to peace with God. Consider Jesus Christ, the apostle and high priest of those who share in Christ, and the heavenly calling through Christ (cf. Heb 3:1-6).

The confession that a person in Christ holds to teaches that Jesus was faithful to all that God the Father appointed him to do. Trusting in Jesus is trusting in the one who has been given all authority because of his faithfulness. When I complain I am not considering Jesus, who is authoritatively in control of the circumstance in which I find displeasure. Instead grumbling displays that I am considering myself and am dissatisfied with my lack of control, or I am lamenting my Saviors sovereign rule as supreme Lord over all.

In the end neither option is how a child of God must walk. I am rebuked yet again in my foolish complaining. Consider Jesus, you saints of the Lord, and know that he is faithful in all of God’s house to work and will his good pleasure. Consider Jesus and know that he is in control and that in your circumstance he is providing you a chance to strengthen your faith. Like Abraham, brothers, let us grow strong in our faith, giving glory to God, fully convinced that God will do what he has promised (cf. Rom 4:19-21).