[re-zə-ˈlü-shən] noun 1 : the act or process of resolving . . . 3 a: something that is resolved ; b : firmness of resolve (

Do people still make New Year’s resolutions? Perhaps that is not what they are best called. Maybe they should merely be called “goals” or “plans.” What are your goals and plans for 2017? What would you like to accomplish or to do in the next year? Do you have financial goals, like paying off the car? Do you have fitness goals, like losing those ten pounds? Do you have an educational goal, like finally enrolling in classes? Do you have plans to reconnect with family or friends, to take a trip, or to finish that project?

We have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. (Colossians 1:9b-10)

What about your spiritual resolutions? Do you have plans to grow in faith, hope, and love? It often seems that too few people think about their spiritual goals. I am encouraging you to do so now. We should always be seeking to grow in faith, hope, and love. If you are not moving forward, you are probably standing still, and if you stand still too long you will probably decline. That should be a great concern to believers, unless they desire to not “lead lives worthy of the Lord.” There are many ways to “grow in the knowledge of God.”

So what resolution have you made to grow spiritually? Maybe it is to worship more. (Yeah, I know, it’s the pastor’s thing about worship, again. But it is not really about the pastor, but about God.) It is clear from the Scriptures that worship is fundamental to relationship with God, a relationship that we talk about with terms like faith, hope, and love. Worship is so important that God make one of the Ten Commandments about it: “Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy.” The sabbath day comes around every seven days, and Luther reminds us that we are “not despise preaching or God’s word, but instead keep that word holy and gladly hear and learn it.”

What would a resolution to worship more look like? Maybe putting worship on your calendar, just like a doctor’s appointment that you would not miss, except this being an appointment with the Great Physician, Jesus? Maybe planning on not staying out so late Saturday night, so you can set your alarm to get up on time Sunday morning? Maybe you need a worship partner, someone to car-pool with and hold you accountable and responsible on Sunday morning. I am sure that if you want to make worship a priority, you can figure out what you need to do. Likewise with any spiritual resolution, whether about prayer, or giving, or Scripture reading, or ministry. So, resolve to do so! And may you be blessed in this New Year in your doing.

We always pray for you, asking that our God will make you worthy of his call and will fulfill by his power every good resolve and work of faith, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 1:11-12)

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