"Look to My Coming At First Light".
The Dawn of a New Year!! Even though I am still on nights at the hospital, there feels a real sense of fresh excitement and anticipation at what 2006 might hold. I don't want to approach the New Year in terms of "Well it can't be worse than last year!" (although that's true!). I want to come armed and resolved to really and truly seize the day. There is a degree of concern about resolutions, as there is always the element that if you don't keep them, you feel condemned. However Jonathan Edwards had a list of resolutions and if it's good enough for him, then it's good enough for me. So not being Jonathan Edwards I haven't adopted his entire list 0f 70 - but just a few with my own comments.
1. Resolved to live with all my might while I do live.
Every day is a gift from God! "I am grateful for the air I breathe, I'm so thankful for the life I live!". It is a sobering thing to realise that I will have to give account for every day given to me - so in 2006 I am resolved to be as utterly and completely hot as I can in what I do - even if I get something wrong!
2. Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom and hell.
The greatest pain, the greatest heartache, the greatest self harm that can be committed cannot match the pains of being martyred for faith in God or indeed hell that I have been saved from ... therefore I am resolved in 2006 to not waste any time wallowing in self pity or attempting to indulge in any practice that idolizes that pain.
3. Resolved to endeavour to obtain for myself as much happiness ... as I possibly can with all the power might, vigour and vehemence, yea violence that I am capable of.
Christian hedonism here we come!! This resolution involves reading and living with Piper, Edwards etc and really and truly getting to grips with those glorious concepts. To realise that in THY Presence is fulness of joy!! Therefore that means spending every possible day of 2006 in the Presence of God!
4. Resolved, to strive to my utmost every week to be brought higher in religion and to a higher exercise of grace than I was the week before.
If God feels so fit and so graced to grant me experiences of Himself, then to seize them and learn and live in them. If He hides His face, then to spend my time learning and growing and reading from the Word that He has given and to prepare myself should He invade time and space again and fall upon me.
5. Resolved, never to speak evil of any, execpt I have good call for it.
To understand that God is sovereign in all He does and all He allows and therefore I must endure wrong-doing cheerfully, even when it comes from within the church. So in the spirit of James to guard my tongue as best as I possibly can!! But if I do make a negative statement, then to back it up with clear and concise evidence and to keep clear of gossip as much as I possibly can.