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Be It Resolved…Today.

January 10, 2012

I don’t know where you land on the idea of making a resolution at the beginning of a new year.  I don’t know if that’s something you spend a lot of time on…or if you just go with the standard “diet and exercise”…or if you think the whole concept is completely useless.  Regardless of where you fall in there, whether you are pro or against such things, I think it is clear that Christians in general are great at making resolutions and terrible about keeping them.

 Take a moment today…hopefully right now…and read through Deuteronomy 6:1-9.

 In the context of this book, Moses has just given the people of Israel, again, the Ten Commandments.  Historically, they are on the threshold of the Promised Land, standing at the borders of the land of Canaan, and Moses is reminding them of who they are, where they came from, and where they are going.  And it’s at this moment that we see what is called the “Greatest Commandment.”  Verse 4 is the Shema, which says, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.”  And then verse 5 immediately continues by saying, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”  Okay…that’s the resolution.  That’s not a resolution just for me…that’s the resolution for the Church. 

 Here’s why I say that; there’s nothing natural in us that would lead us to do such a thing.  Despite the salvation that I have been granted by the grace of God, and the reality that I actually understand that, I am still far too attached to the things of this world.  I am far too concerned with what people will think.  I pay far too much attention to the prevailing popular opinions of those around me.  And despite their constant failings, I still find myself prostrate before the counterfeit gods that I continually put up on a pedestal.  My observance of this commandment; this mandate to love my Creator with all that I have, all that I am, and all that He has given me, requires a resolution of the will…only by the power of the Holy Spirit…because I can’t do it.

 And you see how Moses follows it up.  Verse 7 says, “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”  Listen, any parent who has ever sat down to help their child with their homework knows that the only way to teach something is to know it yourself.  So, just being straight with you…when my kids get to entry level calculus…they’re on their own. The same is true in faith.  We cannot begin to teach the truths of God unless we know the truths of God.  He tells the people to “bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be frontlets between your eyes.”  He’s telling the people to embrace the law of God…in everything they do.  And this will be an outward sign…written on our doorposts…stamped on our gates.

 Psalm 119 gives us an idea of what this looks like when the psalmist says in verse 97. “Oh how I love your law!  It is my meditation all the day.”  It’s not natural…it’s his meditation.  It requires effort.  It takes energy and desire.  It takes the same energy that we devote to the other things we love.  The same energy we give to our spouses, our churches…and our football teams.  The commandment isn’t to know about the Lord your God…it’s to love the Lord your God.  But you can’t love what you don’t know.  And you can’t know unless you learn.  And again, by grace, our God has made Himself known…through His Word.  Everything in our lives has a starting point.  Today could be the day you resolve to know Him.  Only then can you make Him known.

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