Tuesday, January 6, 2015


I Was Just Thinking About - - - 

Have you ever wondered about resolutions and why they are so difficult to maintain? Have you ever assessed yourself and determined that a lack of personal discipline is the root cause of your inability to follow through on very good resolutions? We need to think about the correlation that should exist between a “Resolution” made and a “Commitment” that is kept. When he was a young man (age 19), Jonathan Edwards complied a list of 70 Resolutions to guide and shape his life (http://www.jonathan-edwards.org/Resolutions.html). The opening statement of these resolutions is: “Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God's help, I do humbly entreat him by his grace to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ's sake. Remember to read over these Resolutions once a week.” A current mailing from a branch of Focus on the Family, Thriving Pastor, contains the helpful reminder on the subject of one being Resolved (http://www.thrivingpastor.com/resolved/).

There is a Hymn written in 1896, words by Palmer Hartsough and music by James H. Fillmore, Sr., entitled: I Am Resolved. The background to this Hymn states the following: “Fill­more orig­in­al­ly wrote the song for use at the Con­ven­tion of Christian En­dea­vor in San Fran­cis­co. Fourteen trains of peo­ple sang the song on the way from Ohio to the Con­ven­tion. Af­ter­ward, Fill­more asked Hart­sough, a writer on the staff of Fill­more’s mu­sic pub­lish­ing house, to write new words so the song could be of more wide­-spread use.” Some of the words of the Hymn are:

I am resolved no longer to linger, 
Charmed by the world’s delight,
Things that are higher, things that are nobler,
These have allured my sight.

I am resolved to go to the Savior, 
Leaving my sin and strife;
He is the true One, He is the just One, 
He hath the words of life.

I am resolved to follow the Savior, 
Faithful and true each day;
Heed what He sayeth, do what He willeth, 
He is the living Way.

I am resolved to enter the kingdom 
Leaving the paths of sin;
Friends may oppose me, foes may beset me, 
Still will I enter in.

At the end of 2014, a list of the ten top verses was compiled by the internet Bible, You Version, regarding which ones received the most hits throughout the year. On their list, the number one verse was Romans 12:2. The MSG rendering is: “Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” One would be served well by connecting this verse with I John 2:15-17 (NASB), “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.” 

Jonathan Edwards Resolution 62 is: “Resolved, never to do anything but duty, and then according to Ephesians 6:6-8, to do it willingly and cheerfully as unto the Lord, and not to man: knowing that whatever good thing any man does, the same shall he receive of the Lord.” Consider these things with me.

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