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Starting Off Right

Saturday, December 31, 2011

by Dr. Paul Chappell

"It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness."

Lamentations 3:22-23

As we enter a new year tonight, many people are making resolution. Some will promise to lose weight, others will determine to spend more time with their family, and some will resolve to read more books. But as we enter this new year, let's look at the resolutions of one of the Great Awakening's leading preachers, Jonathan Edwards.

These resolutions were written in his personal diary:

"Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to the glory of God, and my own good, profit, and pleasure, in the whole of my duration; without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence.
Resolved, to do whatever I think to be my duty, and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general.
Resolved, never to lose one moment of time, but to improve it in the most profitable way I possibly can.
Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.
Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.
Resolved, never to do anything out of revenge.
Resolved, never to speak evil of any one, so that it shall tend to his dishonour, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.
Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly, and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive, myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.
Resolved, to ask myself, at the end of every day, week, month, and year, wherein I could possibly, in any respect, have done better.
Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken, my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.
Resolved, always to do that which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it. Let there be something of benevolence in all that I speak."

What great resolutions! We would all do well to apply these in our own lives. Notice our verses for today, "It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness." The Lord's mercies are new every day! Even if we fail God in some way today, if we ask for forgiveness, He gives it to us! He wipes the slate clean, and we can start over again!

What a great promise! We are all sinners, but God promises His mercy to us every day! Take time today to sit down and evaluate your spiritual life. How have you grown closer to God in the last year? What good habits have you formed that help you become more like Christ?

Then see what you could do to improve your Christian life. In what areas have you failed God? What areas do you need to work on so that you can draw closer to God this coming year? Make a list of things you would like to accomplish in your spiritual life this year. Then take time alone with God and commit this list to Him. Ask Him to help you in the areas you need to work on, and commit to drawing closer to Him this year.

To learn more about the ministries of Lancaster Baptist Church and Pastor Chappell, please visit lancasterbaptist.org, paulchappell.com, or follow him on twitter.

Daily Bible Reading
Malachi | Revelation 22