Resolution, resolve, commitment. These words abound every new year, and rightly so.
The Bible has many examples of resolve. Joshua said, “Choose ye this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15). God rewarded the Levites because of resolve (Exodus 32:26; Numbers 3:40-41).
But when the Bible speaks of real change, the language more often is that of God creating something new.
David when he sinned with Bathsheba prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, o God” (Psalm 51:10). He did not say, “I’m a pretty good person; help me.” No, David pled with God to create something new in him, something that would be truly good.
Paul spoke of salvation using terms from creation: “The same God who said, ‘Let light shine out of the darkness’, has shown in our hearts” (2 Corinthians 4:6). The original creation could not produce light from itself. It took a gracious, creative act of God.
In time of temptation, Hebrews 12:2 advises, “Look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” Look to the One who starts your faith; look to the One who brings that faith to full measure.
Jesus is ultimate resolve; He set His face for Jerusalem knowing that death lay ahead (Mark 8:31). He resolved, and He followed through.
Jesus is ultimate goodness; He would rather die than disobey God, and He would rather die than see you excluded from Eden.
Jesus is ultimate love; as He was being tortured to death, Jesus was praying for His torturers.
The story of the Bible is not God saving good people. The story of the Bible is God saving people and making them good.
Jesus said to His disciples, “I am the vine; you are the branches . . . apart from Me, you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
Christians have the hard work of daily coming to Christ without money, without price and buying, that is, seeking from Christ more and more of Christ’s goodness and Christ’s character.
God’s new covenant promise is unconditional for those in Christ: “I will put my law in you. I will give you a new heart. I will cleanse you from all your corruptions and from all your idols. . . . I have promised; I will do it” (Ezekiel 36:22-36).
God’s people have always said, “Not to us, o LORD, not to us, but to your name be glory” (Psalm 115:1).
God’s people readily admit that all our works “are having been done in God” (John 3:21).
Isaiah 26:12 even says, “You have indeed done all our works for us.”
Maybe our best resolution would be the hard work everyday of seeking more of that new life in Him.