Well the tree is face down on the curb, the fridge is stocked with aging leftovers, our house is in full transition-from-Christmas-decorations mode, and school is back in session. I could use a few more days chillin’ with the family, but I am also full of anticipation about the doors of opportunity ahead in 2017. The beginning of January provides each of us a sense of beginning anew. January and the New Year is our annual do-over, a sort of take-2. And while we can’t erase all the previous year’s mistakes and missteps, the script for the next 12 months has yet to be written.
I think we all like new beginnings because it reminds us all of the grace we do not deserve, yet God freely gives. Thus we see God’s blessings in new sunrises, new moments to redeem, and new days full of potential-rich obedience. And as we begin to awaken to the notion that God has kissed each day with mercy and grace, it should stir within us the desire to cry out like Hannah in 1 Samuel 2:2: “There is none holy like the LORD; for there is none besides you…” When you are liiving in the freedom of all that God is and has accomplished should surely lead each Christ follower to this conclusion: grace demands more of my life, never less! And so I encourage you this year to live a life full of belief and resolve.
Now to the practical side of such an idea. If we resolve to live more for the renown of Jesus, then we must resign from selfish and sinful ambitions. Or to put it another way, we must resign before and so that we may resolve. It is one thing to agree with the statement grace demands more, in theory. To do so is merely informative. But it is another thing altogether to begin anew by taking inventory of one’s life and committing afresh to living out the desires of God as expressed in the Holy Scriptures. To do so is transformative. This is what I want for my life and this is what I hope for yours. Below is a short list of things we can all resign from as we resolve to live more unto Jesus:
- I resign from any and all aspirations to become famous through any medium or means, because I resolve to contribute to the fame of King Jesus.
- I resign from obsessing over what others think of me via social media and other outlets, because I resolve to live to an audience of one.
- I resign from a stagnant and sluggish pace, because I realize that God has called me to RUN the race looking unto Jesus.
- I resign from thinking more about myself, and resolve to esteem and consider others more.
- I resign from accumulating more and more earthly possessions, and resolve to use my resources to enrich someone else’s life.
- I resign from the comfort of mediocre ambitions, and resolve to dream big by answering the question: what would I do for the glory of God in 2017 if I knew I would not fail?
- I resign from worrying about the blessings I don’t have, because I resolve to live a life that is bless-able and trust God with how He wants to bless me.
Resign to Resolve. Take inventory and clear out from the metaphoric shelves what doesn’t belong, so that you can make room for what God desires. Then in 2017 live a life full of meaning and purpose, awe and wonder, grace and truth, love and resolve…because grace demands more.