With the arrival of the New Year, it is customary to make resolutions. I’ve found that it is a lot easier to make resolutions than to keep them. My resolutions usually last until the middle of February or maybe the beginning of March. It’s easy to lose momentum, become discouraged, and quit altogether. It seems that I am constantly striving, but always missing the mark. Sound familiar?
But here’s the good news. Listen to what Paul says in Philippians 1:6, “…He who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” This means that if we truly belong to the Lord, no matter how many times we stumble and fall, God is still in the process of perfecting and refining us. He will finish what He starts and we, as his children, must never forget that.
Paul reiterates when he says in 2 Timothy 1:12, “…for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” Paul is so convinced that the God who was able to save him is also able to keep him until his santificaton is complete. What a promise to hold on to as we face the year ahead!
So, what is our responsibility as believers? Paul tells us in Philippians 2:12-13, “…work out your own salvation and with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” We don’t earn our salvation. Our works are the outcome of our salvation. Our obedience to His will is our response to His love for us, which is expressed in the gift of salvation. This obedience leads to our sanctification and our glorification with an eternal reward. Oh, what a future we have if we belong to Jesus!
As we walk forward into a new year, let us resolve in our hearts to do as the hymn writer wrote…
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
All Scripture References are taken from The New King James Version.