New YearŐs Resolutions

 

This new year has brought new resolutions, new goals, and maybe for some, new vision.  Just maybe you've made a resolution to read through the Bible in a year along with the staff here at Calvary.  Maybe you decided to make wiser choices with your health habits this year.  Could it be that you have a goal to get involved in a home Bible study this year?  Maybe you have a more general goal like trying to be more patient or more giving.  If you are a believer, there is most likely a big part of you that wants to do better this year.  You want to improve.  Your desire is to be more Christ-like.  In order to succeed at these ambitions, we must remember and live by these two very important truths.

 

 1.  WE CAN DO NOTHING APART FROM CHRIST.

 

John 15:4-5 states, "Abide in Me, and I in  you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.  I am the vine, you are the branches.  He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."

 

"Abide" means "to stay," "continue," "dwell," and "remain."  We must find our home in Christ.  Let us NOT try to do better in our own strength.  In other words, if we are not attached to Jesus, we cannot expect to bear much fruit.  If we are not asking Him to fill us with His Spirit, then we are missing out on His strength and power.  

 

What happened when Peter took his eyes off of Jesus?  Yes, you know the story.  He began to sink.  The moment we take our eyes off of Jesus, we too will sink. 

 

What happened to Saul when he began to do things in his own strength, apart from God? He failed.  Let us not be fooled.  We will also fail when we try to do things in our own strength.  Galatians 6:3 states, "For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself." 

 

2.  WE CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST.

 

Luke 1:37 states "For with God nothing will be impossible."  Philippians 4:13 states "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  Praise God for verses like these.  God does not leave us without hope.  He offers Himself to us so that we can succeed!  The key again is to ABIDE in Him.  Seek the Lord DAILY.   Let us not be fearful.  Let us not doubt the Creator of the universe. 

 

There are countless examples in God's Word of people who did abide in the Word and were used in amazing ways for God's glory.  Moses did not think he could speak well enough to be used by God, but God assured Moses of what God would accomplish through Moses.  Indeed, Moses ended up being used to bring God much glory because he stayed close to the Lord and trusted in God's strength above his own.  Joshua, Gideon, Paul, and Peter each have a testimony of what God did when they trusted in the Lord.

 

One of the most powerful examples that I like to reflect back to is the young boy David.  In Acts 13:22, we are reminded that God said this of David:  "...I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will."  Yet David was very human, God chose him to be the next king because God knew that David would always seek God for truth, help, strength, power, and ability.  God knew that David would do ALL of God's will.  Because David did choose to rely on God, he was successful. 

 

Let us remember that we have the capability to succeed at our resolutions, goals, and visions.  Our capability IS CHRIST.  If we can remember to abide in Him, we WILL bear much fruit.  May each of us reflect on these truths often so that we will be men and women after God's own heart and we will accomplish ALL OF HIS WILL.