Tis the time for “New Year's Resolutions.” While I'm not totally opposed to making New Year's resolutions, I would submit that there is no power in them at all. The power to change your life does not come from your personal resolve, but from God's resolve.
When we make New Year's resolutions, we often focus on ourselves, our determination, our discipline, and our personal efforts. But our focus should never be on ourselves, especially when it comes to personal change. Our focus should be on God and what He has done in Christ, is doing in Christ and will do in Christ. When we think on God's resolutions, our hearts are won to Him and then we lovingly, joyfully, and willingly resolve to change for His glory.
So this year, rather than making “New Year's resolutions” (especially ones not found in the Bible), I would encourage you to think on God's resolutions. Certainly God's resolutions are never limited to the New Year, and that's part of their beauty. God's resolutions originate in eternity, and they remain immutably constant in time. God's resolutions never need to be renewed because He brings every one of them to pass according to the times appointed in His eternal decree.
Let us simply look on Him and His works. Let us look away from ourselves, away from our sins, away from our faith, away from our love and good works, and instead set our eyes upon our God.
Consider just a few of God's eternal resolutions related to “newness.”
1. He resolved to forgive us. “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. . . . I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins” (Isa 43:19, 25).
2. He resolved to create a new heavens and a new earth in which weeping will be no more. “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy, and her people to be a gladness. I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in my people; no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping and the cry of distress” (Isa 65:17-19).
3. He resolved to make an unbreakable new covenant, unlike the old covenant. “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jer 31:31-34).
4. He resolved that His love and mercy will never come to an end, but that they are new every morning. “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lam 3:22-23).
5. He resolved to give His people one heart and a new spirit that walks in His commandments. “And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God” (Ezek 11:19-20).
6. He resolved to make His people a new creation in Christ. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Cor 5:17).
7. He resolved to end the division between Jews and Greeks (and all racial/ethnic divisions) and to make one new man in Christ. “For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility” (Eph 2:14-16).
8. He resolved to open a new and living way to Himself through the shed blood of His Son. “We have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh” (Heb 10:19-20).
9. He resolved to make all things new. “And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true” (Rev 21:5).