“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 2 Peter 1:3-8
It’s that time once again. The new year has started and people start talking about resolutions. Resolutions can be good. If the new year gives you the motivation to start exercising or being wiser with your money, etc. Good. I know it wouldn’t hurt for me to resolve to eat healthier.
If you choose to make some resolutions this year, I encourage you to consider your walk with God as you do so. This is what Peter writes about in the above verse in 2 Peter. Make every effort towards virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells of the importance and value of the Word of God. James 1:19 speaks of being quick to listen and slow to anger. Ephesians 6:18 talks about praying in all circumstances. I could go on.
With that in mind, consider the following resolutions:
Resolutions can be helpful and resolutions like these suggestions can have a big impact on your life, but there are two other things about the 2 Peter passage I wanted to point out.
First, Peter puts the “resolution” (make every effort…) in its proper perspective, as a response to the gift of Salvation that Jesus has already given. Resolutions and the acts that follow don’t make us more worthy of God nor do they play any role in our salvation. Through faith in Christ, God has already given you “all things that pertain to life and godliness.” He has granted you “His precious and very great promises.” The rest is our response to that wonderful gift.
Second, Peter ends with, “For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Not only is our salvation totally God’s work, but even the qualities that you resolve to have are the work of Christ in you.
So, as you make your resolutions this year, be reminded of the resolve of the One who, for the joy set before Him, endured the cross despising its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Thank you for another year. Please be with me this coming year. Increase in me the qualities You have commended. Draw my eyes ever towards You, especially when I fail, that I would look to the cross of Christ, knowing my forgiveness and salvation are from Him.
In Christ’s Service,