In Victory Outreach San Francisco, we are looking forward to an acceleration to take place and see the promises of God fulfilled. For the acceleration of these promises to be fulfilled, we must be resolute in our commitment to our Lord, Jesus Christ, and to one another.
Every year, millions of people make New Year’s resolutions. A resolution is a firm decision to do or not to do something, the quality of being determined or resolute. A resolution is a commitment.
Why do people make New Year Resolutions? People want to better their life. People are hoping for a positive change and a better future.
Here is a list of the top 10 resolutions that people make:[i]
1. Exercise more
3. Get organized
4. Learn a new skill or hobby
5. Live life to the fullest
6. Save more money / spend less money
7. Quit smoking
8. Spend more time with family and friends
9. Travel more
10. Read more
2. Lose weight
A study (by the Journal of Clinical Psychology) showed that only about 46% of people who made New Year resolutions were successful. This reveals that more than half failed.
Many times, resolutions are not completed because motivation is lost, the focus is lost, problems arise, and distractions get in the way.
The apostle Paul made a resolution and was determined to fulfill it. He said in Philippians 3:10, “I want to know Christ …”. Wow, what a resolution to make. He made a “Heavenly Resolution”. This is a resolution that we all need to make and keep. This will transform our lives.
Paul was a Christian for about 30 years when he wrote to the Philippians, and he said he did not just want to know Christ as Savior. He wanted to know Christ as his Lord. He wanted a personal relationship with Jesus, to obey Him, be faithful to Him, praise Him and celebrate Him. Just look at the rest of Philippians 3:10-11 and you will see Paul’s commitment to his “Heavenly Resolution”:
I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!
(Philippians 3:10–11 NLT)
At the end of Paul’s life, he was able to say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7 NIV). He fulfilled the “Heavenly Resolution” he made.
You and I can also make this “Heavenly Resolution”, To Know Christ, and fulfill it. We can learn from Paul and the attitude he had toward Jesus. Even though Paul wrote this letter to the Philippians while he was in prison for preaching the gospel, he wanted the Philippians to know that he was joyful and not discouraged. He encouraged them to have the same attitude, to be joyful also.
Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. I never get tired of telling you these things, and I do it to safeguard your faith. (Philippians 3:1 NLT)
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! (Philippians 4:4 NLT)
Paul says to continually hear and receive the importance of having joy, safeguard’s your faith. The word safeguard means, that which cannot be thrown down, firm, sure, steady, immovable as an anchor. Joy keeps your faith in the Lord strong and from growing cold.
How does Paul say he is going to stay joyful and fulfill his Heavenly Resolution to know Christ? The way Paul did it, is the same way you and I can do it.
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (Philippians 3:12–14 NLT)
1. Focus on one thing. Don’t allow distractions to get in the way. Whether it is circumstances, people, finances (or lack of finances), sickness, etc., trust in Jesus.
Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine and learn from those who follow our example. For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. (Philippians 3:17–19 NLT)
2. Forget the past and look forward. Jesus said that focusing on the past (failures, mistakes, victories, successes) and looking back makes you unfit.
But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62 NLT)
3. Press on. This means to follow hard after, to pursue with earnestness and diligence in order to obtain, to go after with the desire of obtaining. That’s what Paul did. Paul also says you and I can Press on to win the heavenly prize of knowing Christ.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing. 2 (Timothy 4:7–8 NLT)
Victory Outreach San Francisco, let’s turn the page and begin this new year of 2022 resolved to “Know Christ”, not just as Savior but also as Lord. Seeking Jesus for a personal relationship with Him, to obey Him, be faithful to Him, praise Him and celebrate Him. When we do this, we will see an acceleration of the promises of God fulfilled in our lives, our families, and our church.
Pastor Ed Gonzalez
Victory Outreach San Francisco
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[i] Zomick, Brad. “Top 10 Most Common New Year’s Resolutions (and How to Follow Through on Them)”. Go Skills, goskills.com/Soft-Skills/Resources/Top-10-new-years-resolutions