Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? Many people ponder what things they would like to do differently in the new year. Resolutions are often a curious combination of hopes, dreams, and a promise to ourselves to do better than we have in the past. Some of us share our resolutions with others, hoping they will keep us honest, true and on target.
But, alas, a follow up check, even as early as February, often finds those resolutions as fleeting as the New Year’s Eve parties in which they were shared. I hate to admit how many years I have said in all sincerity that I will stick to a better diet in the coming year. Yet, Valentines Day finds me spread out on the couch, pondering which of the chocolate candies I will sample next … and wondering when the Girl Scout cookies will arrive!
What happens to us? My theory is that we are making promises to the wrong people. Have you ever noticed that when we promise ourselves something, it is fairly easy to back out with a simple explanation of “I changed my mind.” And in this day and age, keeping promises to others is not of the highest priority either. Relationships break just as easily with a simple, “I changed my mind.”
If we want a good Role Model for commitment, we should look to the One Who is the Purest Example of Commitment. Look at God! What if God promised us something and then He simply didn’t deliver because He changed His Mind?
God underscores His Promises by making a Covenant with us … a Binding Agreement … and He gives us a Sign that will remind us of that Covenant. His Signs are His Ways of saying, “I never go back on My Word. I speak Truth I am faithful to do what I say!”
God made the ultimate Covenant with us when He sent Jesus to save us from our sins. As was done in many human covenants, God sealed His Promise by blood … the Blood of Jesus.
Matthew 26:28 records Jesus’ Promise:
This is My Blood of the Covenant,
Which is poured out for many
for the forgiveness of sins.
Jesus gave us a Sign to remember the Covenant.
“… This cup is the New Covenant in My Blood;
do this, whenever you drink it, in Remembrance of Me.”
1st Corinthians 11:25
In a marriage, the bride and groom make their sincere promises to each other. God makes His Sacred Promises to us. He waits to hear our Sacred Promises made to Him!
As we approach 2013, I invite you to a very personal date with God.
Consider all the ways He has been faithful to you, loving you even when you did not know, loving you at your most unlovable, comforting you in those times you thought your heart was breaking into pieces, celebrating with you in the best moments of your life.
Consider the Promises He made as recorded in the Bible. Consider how He fulfilled those Promises to you throughout your life.
Thank Him for His Faithfulness and Love.
Acknowledge Him as your Creator, Who is still creating you.
Accept His Invitation to participate in your continued creation. Ask Him what He would like for you to do now. Concentrate on “now.” We walk in faith and commitment, step by step and moment by moment. Don’t get tripped up into trying to see too far down the road. Ask God what He wants you to do now. Ask Him again at least every day!
Write down what you believe God is speaking to you.
Make a covenant with God. Boldly read your promises aloud, so you hear yourself speaking to Him. “My Father God … I promise YOU …” Know that a Promise to God is sacred.
Never consider whether you can keep that Promise in your own strength. You cannot. The Bible is filled with examples of how the strength of humans was not enough to accomplish much. However, when people made sincere commitments to God and put in all they had, God multiplied it until it was more than enough! He will do the same for you!
God knows that we need reminders to keep our commitment strong. He gives us reminders of His Faithfulness. Decide on something visible and tangible that you will use as “an outward and visible sign of your commitment.” It may be a picture, jewelry, or simply a phrase on the refrigerator, such as “I promise You, God!”
Come inside now and listen to what He is saying:
I have loved you with an Everlasting Love;
I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.
How much can you trust God to keep His Promises?
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God!
He is the Faithful God, keeping His Covenant of Love
to a thousand generations of those
who love Him and keep His Commandments.
Can God trust you just as much to keep your Promises to Him?