Resolutions vs. Resolve: How to Keep a New Year’s Resolution [Sermon Notes & Audio]
Every year at this time we make New Year’s resolutions to change things, but we rarely follow through because we don’t go deep enough.
a determination to act in a certain way; resolve
It literally means, “having the mind strained or bent on an object; hence, fixed closely; constant or continuously applied; eager in pursuit of an object; anxiously diligent; firm determination marked by boldness and steadiness”
- No matter what. No matter how long it takes or what I have to give up to see it through.
- Not a reaction to something outside yourself; it comes from within.
- On purpose; it’s not an accident.
Everyone is intentional about something — usually at work — so everyone can be intentional about what God wants for our lives.
Let’s Look at Jesus
When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make preparations for him. But the people did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But he turned and rebuked them. And they went on to another village. — Luke 9:51-56, ESV
Jesus was intent.
- Jesus was going to fulfill his purpose, even though it would cost him dearly.
- He “set his face;” he was unmovable.
- In the face of others’ total rejection and misunderstanding of Jesus and his purpose, Jesus never wavered from his focus.
When we get intentional about change, there will always be rejection and push-back from others, because changing your life causes change in theirs.
God is a God of Intention
God’s plan was mapped out before the world began. If I’m going to be like God, I have to be able to make plans.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed. — Psalm 139:16, NLT
I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say, ‘My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please.’ — Isaiah 46:10, NIV
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. — Ephesians 1:4, NIV
God’s plan is certain to be accomplished.
The Lord Almighty has sworn, “Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand … For the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand has stretched out and who can turn it back?” — Isaiah 14:24, 27, NIV
But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. — Psalm 33:11, NIV
God’s plan is unchangeable.
He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for his is not a man, that he should change his mind. — 1 Samuel 15:29, NIV
I the Lord do not change. — Malachi 3:6, NIV
… being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion. — Philippians 1:6, NIV
God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” — Hebrews 13:5, NIV
What is Your Intention for 2018?
Make a real New Year’s resolution this year, and keep it.
- Set your mind on your intention and keep it set.And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth. — Colossians 3:2, AMPC
- Be unwavering in your pursuit.Not that I have already obtained it [this goal of being Christlike] or have already been made perfect, but I actively press on so that I may take hold of that [perfection] for which Christ Jesus took hold of me and made me His own. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have made it my own yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [heavenly] prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. — Philippians 3:12-14, AMP
- Write your intention down and make it plain.And the LORD answered me:
“Write the vision;
make it plain on tablets,
so he may run who reads it.
For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
it hastens to the end—it will not lie.
If it seems slow, wait for it;
it will surely come; it will not delay. — Habakkuk 2:2-3, ESV
Commit in a Comment!
So what is your intention, your real resolution, for 2018? Write it down and share it in a comment!