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How Strong Is Your Resolve?

How Strong Is Your Resolve?

   This is the time of year that many “resolve” to do something for the rest of the year. Usually this is declared as a determination to break a bad habit or to begin one for the betterment of the individual making the resolution. Whatever the case, how long does it last? How soon is it deemed too hard? When this occurs, typically a return is made to former practices and habits.

     The Word “resolved” is found only one time in the King James Version. It is found in Luke 16:4 in the parable of the unjust Steward.   He was accused of being wasteful.   His reasoning was: I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. In reading further, it becomes clear that his only “resolve” was to manipulate the situation and the debts of others to benefit his own circumstances.

     Another way to consider “resolve” is in one of the definitions given to the word as it is used in making resolutions. That definition is: to decide firmly on a course of action. Some synonyms are: boldness, courage, firmness, willpower or steadfastness. As we read some of these terms in the Bible, we understand God wants us to have “resolve” as we serve Him day to day.

     One of the resolutions we all need to make is to keep ourselves free from the grasp of the evil one.  In 1Peter 5:8-9 we are admonished to be most attentive to the dangers and make every effort to resist Satan and his devices. This passage also tells us that others have that needed resolve.  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. Perhaps if we recall what the Spirit had Paul write in Philippians 4:13, we too can have the resolve we need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.  Surely the “all things” here are those things that are in accordance to the Will of God.

     What resolutions have you made this year?   Have you resolved to do as God would have you do? We know from 2Peter 3:9 that God’s Will is that none would be lost. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.    God has done His part in the sending of His Son, and Christ has done His part in dying on the cross to purchase the church. The Holy Spirit has done His part in bringing the Word to be recorded for all humanity. Are we doing our part so that others might be saved?   Jesus, in Matthew 28:19-20 gave His disciples the Great Commission. He said to them: Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Have you resolved to make sure more folks hear what God would have them do to be saved in 2021?

     How strong is your resolve to honor the commitment you made to the Lord when you obeyed the gospel? At that time, we all “pledged” to serve Him and keep His commandments.   Are we doing that?   To do this we must have resolve.   In 1Corinthians 15:57 we are told we can be victorious. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Then in verse 58 we read that to do this we must be “steadfast” and “unmoveable”, and “abounding” in the Lord’s Work. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. 

       Of course, this is not possible unless we know His Word.   This may help with another “resolution” all children of God should make and stick to. We are told in 2Timothy 2:15 to study, and why we should do so.   One cannot learn God’s Word unless they are students of the Word.   Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Have you resolved to do this in 2021?

     Yet another thing we can resolve to do is faithfully attend all the services of the church this year. Hebrews 10:24-25 points out to do this is beneficial to each other and also promotes good works. And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. This “not forsaking” is also a Command of God. To not do as God directs is sin!

       Rather, let’s heed the Words of Hebrews 3:12-14 and carefully consider our commitment to God and do all He directs in His Word to show our love for Him, and to also help ourselves and our brethren. Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;  How strong is your resolve? Will it see you through to the end?   That my friend is entirely up to you!  

                                                    Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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