There is much history concerning celebrating "New Years," In brief, New Year's Day is observed on January 1st, which is the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar. The Gregorian calendar was used by the Roman Empire around 45 BC and is accepted today by most countries and is the calendar most used. The Romans originally dedicated New Year's Day to Janus, the god of gates, doors, and beginnings for whom the first month of the year (January) is named. New Year's Day is probably the world's most celebrated public holiday, often observed with fireworks at the stroke of midnight as the new year starts in each time zone. By Roman definition, beginnings, we can see why so many people make resolutions, that is, taking a course of action one determines or decides to do as a new beginning. Looking into New Years resolutions you would discover that on the average ninety percent of all New Years resolutions fail. Why is that? Statistics tell us four major reasons why they fail. One, most people try to make several resolutions instead of focusing on one; Two, people tend to set unrealistic goals; Three, after a resolution is made, most people have no one to encourage them to see it through; Four, failure to adopt new behavior and thought patterns.
You may think of more reasons, but these four points are to bring us to
the place to understand that the flesh is weak. One example of a New
Years resolution which is probably most popular is weight loss. Usually,
beginning in November, television, news papers, magazines, internet and
other forms of media focus their advertisements on weight loss.
However, every time I see an advertisement promoting weight loss, I find
it interesting that they never reveal the failure rate. If you do some
research, you will find that only about five percent of the people who
make a resolution to lose a certain amount of weight make their goal and
keep the weight off for five years or more. I am only using weight
loss as an example. There is certainly nothing wrong with trying to
loss weight if you have a weight problem. Actually, it's a good thing.
For the believer however, a so called resolution should not be a first
day of the New Year thing. Believers should be determined to be a
reflection of Christ in and through their life every day, but we must
remember and act upon some sound advise. "And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men." (Colossians 3:23) "For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's.'
(Romans 14:8) Everything in the believers life should not be to gratify
ourselves or to please men per se, but to please the Lord. Solomon
tells us the conclusion of all of mans vain self efforts, "...Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all." (Ecclesiastes 12:13)
Next, we must not try to do things through our abilities or strength, but, "Trust
in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own
understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct
your paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6). The apostle Paul reveals several
things along these lines. But one of the greatest revelations that he
received was through his pray to the Lord asking Him to deal with the
messenger of Satan that was stirring up persecution and opposing the
work that the Lord called him to. The Lord said to Paul, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." The revelation Paul received was, "Therefore
most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of
Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in
reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake.
For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:9-10) It
is of the utmost importance that believers rely upon the Lord, His
strength and abilities to accomplish any task or conquer any trial that
may be encounter in this life. This is why Paul was able say, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13)
Another area to consider, is understanding who believers are in Christ.
When believers come to a full knowledge of no longer being identified
with who they were before they were born again and know who they are in
Christ, then they will understand what it means when Jesus said, "nothing is impossible to those who believe."
(Mark 9:23) Knowing who one truly is in Christ sets believers free from
shame, condemnation, guilt and inferiority. They will walk in a freedom
that will cause them to not make resolution but find the grace and
power to overcome and live victorious. For instance, "Therefore, if
anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away;
behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has
reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ.." (2 Corinthians
5:17-18) The old nature, the old way of doing things, the old person
that you were prior to your salvation is gone. You have been made
completely new in Christ and have right standing with God.
Finally, you must have and use your own faith.
What does this mean? All believers one day must come to the place where
their own faith has grown and has brought them to know without doubt, "Now
this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything
according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us,
whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked
of Him." (1 John 5:14-15) This is actually a realm of Christianity
that few believers come to. Not because they do not desire to have this
level of faith. It is mostly due to a lack of studying and meditating on
God's Word as well as faithless church leaders leading people down a
path that causes then to believe man's doctrines over God's Word. These
things will prevent believers from having their own faith and will cause
them to rely on another believers faith hoping to live a victorious
All of these things if applied in the believers life will change their
behavior and thought patterns. These things are not self imposed, by
Holy Spirit inspired. The apostle Paul tells us to, "...Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." (Galatians
5:16) So, you see, we do not have to make New Year resolutions to only
have them fail. We can live in the power and ability of God everyday
in Jesus Christ to overcome every obstacle of life and do the
impossible where others fail. So, this New Years, do not make a New Years
resolution but, "...lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of you." (Philippians
3:12) Let us be purposeful, determined, unwavering, resolute in our
walk with Jesus. Finally, my prayer for us all, as recorded in 3 John 2,
"Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers" HAPPY NEW YEAR...