Statistics say that only about 8% of people keep their New Year’s resolutions. Why so few? Perhaps it’s the kinds of resolutions we make. The “top ten list” includes things like getting healthier, ending habits or addictions, helping others, and spending more time with family. These resolutions can be quite vague. How do you know when you’ve succeeded?
Are we seeking a better quality of life for the next year? Perhaps we lose our resolve because we’re too short-sighted. What difference would it make to our goal-setting if we remembered that we are eternal souls and if we believed that our choices today could impact our quality of life not just for next year, but forever and ever?
Jesus offers eternal life to those who will believe in his name (John 1:12). This “eternal life” is not simply a “get out of hell free card,” and it’s not something that only affects “life after death.” Jesus spoke of eternal life as something that begins now, the moment a person begins to believe in him (John 3:36). The most important resolution we should all consider at the beginning of a new year—and throughout the year—is whether we’ve received this eternal life that Jesus offers, or, if we have, how best to enjoy this gift from Jesus.
Perhaps we could turn the answer to the first question of the Heidelberg Catechism into a resolution. Resolved: To know that my only comfort in life and in death is that I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ, who has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, set me free from the tyranny of the devil, and watches over me now so that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my heavenly Father and, indeed, all things must work together for my salvation, and, because I belong to Christ, the Holy Spirit assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.
Mr. Justin Langley is Minister of Discipleship of Kilgore Bible Church in Kilgore. You can reach him through the congregation’s website: www.kilgorebiblechurch.org.