Resolutions (part two)

Of all the personal goals I’ve ever read, none have inspired me like the resolutions of Jonathan Edwards.  He lived in colonial America and was a missionary to the Native Americans.  He wrote a lengthy set of resolutions that he would reflect on each week.  Just to give you a snapshot, I’ve included a few here:

1. Resolved, That I will do whatsoever I think to be most to the glory of God, and my own good, profit, and pleasure, in the whole of my duration; without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence. Resolved, to do whatever I think to be my duty, and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved, so to do, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many soever, and how great soever.

5. Resolved, Never to lose one moment of time, but to improve it in the most profitable way I possibly can.

6. Resolved, To live with all my might, while I do live.

7. Resolved, Never to do any thing, which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.

8. Resolved, To act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings, as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God. Vid. July 30.

18. Resolved, To live so, at all times, as I think is best in my most devout frames, and when I have the clearest notions of the things of the gospel, and another world.

19. Resolved, Never to do any thing, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour before I should hear the last trump.

Every time I read through these (here is the full list), I feel inspired to be even more devoted to Christ, His church, and humanity.

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Resolutions (part one)

One thing I really appreciate about Faith Promise is the focus on resolutions and goal setting.  It’s a passion of the pastor, and it has become a part of the culture of the church.  From church-wide goals to personal growth plans, I find myself right at home.

In the midst of my goal setting, I realize that I am once again face to face with the Beast of Familiarity.  If I’m not careful, my driven personality drags me into stale religion and rule keeping.  I can read through chapters without being pulled into and overcome by the Text – without being engaged by the Personal God of the Universe.

Because of this, I’m doing a couple of things this year:

  1. I’m using a different Bible translation (NLT) than the one I normally read (NIV).
  2. I’m committing to spend more time journaling my prayers – either written or typed.

What about you?  What helps you to stay focused on Christ?  Is there anything new that you’re committing to for the year?

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New Year’s Resolutions

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Ever since college, I’ve been committed to reading through the Bible at least once each year. Some of the reading plans I’ve used have been more helpful than others, but I’ve stuck with a variation of the same plan for the past few years. However, this year I’m going to try a new plan.

Here are some things I especially like about this Bible reading plan:

  • It goes through the Scriptures chronologically.
  • You read through the gospels twice.
  • There’s a passage from the New Testament and Old Testament each day.
  • You read a Proverb or Psalm almost every day.
  • You can download the plan for free and print it out.

Do you have a New Year’s resolution you’d like to share, another plan you’re going to use, or are you considering joining me in reading this Bible reading plan?

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