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Happy New Years’ Eve!

Happy New Years Eve from the Great Smoky Mountains! I hope all of you are having a wonderful holiday season (I say “holiday season” because there is both the New Year and Christmas). For those of you who read my last post, you expect this blog to be about New Year’s Resolutions. Quite frankly, I don’t believe in them. I have made them in the past, and have they amounted to anything? No. But that is because I have gone these resolutions on my own, as a lone wolf, if you will. That is why hardly anyone (if anyone) succeeds in actually carrying out their New Year’s Resolutions. We people need accountability. We need help. The mind wills, but the body slacks. I will not argue against New Year’s Resolutions as a whole, but I will attempt to offer some suggestions that will hopefully make these resolutions more resolute.

Namely, in our resolutions, we must not take on more than one or two; and we must be humble in our resolutions. If you have not read Humility by now, I certainly recommend that you read it as soon as you possibly can. In making resolutions, most people are prideful; they think that they are powerful enough to enact them on their own. And these people are invariably wrong; they fall flat on their face within a matter of days (if not a matter of hours). Therefore, if this year we want to seriously accomplish any resolutions we make, we must be humble. Chiefly, we must in brokenness rely upon God. We are by nature sinful, and even now as we “press onward toward the goal,” we still have this old sin nature. If we believe we can do anything, let alone our New Year’s Resolutions, without the grace of our Lord, we are mistaken and will fail. “Pride goes … before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). So, in our resolution(s), we must rely upon the grace of God. We must go to Him in humility, in full recognition that we need Him if we are to succeed.

With this said, I now share my New Year’s Resolution with you. A few months ago, my associate pastor recommended a Bible reading plan to me that I will begin implementing tomorrow at the start of 2010. I encourage you to do the same. I will be using Plan 4. The same website that provides this plan, however, also provides other Bible reading plans. There is a timetable for all readers, and I hope that you will apply one in this new year, as well.

I hope you all have a safe, happy, and blessed New Year! I leave you with an encouraging quote from Hebrews 13:1-16 (ESV):

Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say,
“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear;
what can man do to me?”

Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them. We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

NOTE: The Bible Reading Plans recommend both a family and a secret reading schedule to adhere to each day. Personally, I will be reading all of these passages privately each day because I do not have a family of my own, but I certainly believe that having a daily family Bible study is a wonderful idea if you are willing to implement it.

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