10 New Years Resolutions
10 New Year’s Resolutions from the Wisest Man Who Ever Lived
This is the 1st Sunday of the New Year. You know, when you think about it, all New Year’s Resolutions basically fall into 3 categories. They deal with:
1. Things to make us look better and live longer.
2. Things to make us have more.
3. Things that will help us to get along with everyone.
I call them - Longevity, Prosperity and Peace.
I have often said that we could find an answer in God’s word for any question or situation of life if we would just look. So what is there in God’s Word about New Year’s Resolutions? Well there not called New Year’s Resolutions but I don’t think you could do better.
I’m reading from the book of Proverbs - Chapter 3. I’m titling this sermon 10 New Year’s Resolutions From The Wisest Man That Ever Lived. Proverbs - chapter 3. Now this first time I read I will just leave out a few words here and there and we will see just the benefits of adopting this set of New Year’s Resolutions set forth here in this 3rd chapter.
1 My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, 2 for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. [Longevity, Prosperity] . . . you will win favour and a good name in the sight of God and man. . .He will direct your paths. . . will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. . . your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. . . you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble. . . you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. . . the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.
Solomon starts off this 3rd chapter with a very matter of fact statement.
1 My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, 2 for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity.
Then He gives very specific details of 10 precepts or principles that we should live by in order to have long life, prosperity and peace. Some of these are rather simple, in fact all of them are simple to talk about, but when it comes to putting them into practice it becomes more difficult. I sincerely think if each of us would adopt these principles and conscientiously live them out in this coming year that it would change our lives. I’m not talking about giving lip service to them but conscientiously live them out. Every day make it a part of your life. I believe that it will change our lives. So now let’s go back up to verse 3 and start with principle #1.
Resolution 1. LET LOVE AND FAITHFULNESS NEVER LEAVE YOU V 3-4
3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Then you will win favour and a good name in the sight of God and man.
Love and Faithfulness - Let these two qualities be the guiding lights in our lives - in everything we do. These must be foundational to all we do.
Definition of Love -
Definition of Faithfulness: keeping faith; maintaining allegiance; constant; loyal - [faithful friends] , showing a strong sense of duty or responsibility; conscientious, accurate; reliable; exact [a faithful copy]
Resolution 2. TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL OF YOUR HEART. V 5-6
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your
ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. [Or will direct your paths.]
Definitions of the word Trust:
a) firm belief in or confidence in, the honesty, integrity, reliability, justice, etc. of another person or thing; faith in or reliance on the person or thing trusted.
b) confident expectation, anticipation, or hope [to have trust in the future]
Trust in the LORD with all your heart --
Definitions of the word Acknowledge:
a) to admit to be true or as stated; confess
b) to recognize the authority or claims of
c) to recognize and answer (a greeting or greeter, an introduction, etc.)
d) to express thanks for
e) to verify receipt of (a letter, gift, favor, payment, etc.)
f) to admit or affirm as genuine; certify in legal form !to acknowledge a deed"
In all your ways acknowledge Him, In all your ways acknowledge Him,
Now I have spent more time on these first 2 resolutions than I will probably spend on the rest put together because they are so foundational to all the rest.
1. LET LOVE AND FAITHFULNESS NEVER LEAVE YOU V 3-4
2. TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL OF YOUR HEART, . . IN ALL YOUR WAYS ACKNOWLEDGE HIM.
Resolution 3. DO NOT BE WISE IN YOUR OWN EYES V 7-8
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. 8 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
Resolution 4. HONOR THE LORD WITH YOUR WEALTH V 9-10
9 Honour the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; 10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.
This starts with tithing - God’s Law of harvest.
Resolution 5. DO NOT DESPISE THE LORD’S DISCIPLINE V 11-12
11 My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, 12 because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.
Resolution 6. SEARCH DILIGENTLY FOR WISDOM AND FIND IT V 13-24
13 Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, 14 for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. 15 She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. 16 Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honour. 17 Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed. 19 By wisdom the LORD laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; 20 by his knowledge the deeps were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew. 21 My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; 22 they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. 23 Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble; 24 when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
WHAT IS WISDOM? WISDOM HAS TWO GROUPS OF CHARACTERISTICS.
1. INFORMATION 2. KNOW-HOW
Do an analogy of a farmer with a tractor in a field. He must have the right equipment and materials - gas etc. But he still must know what to do and what not to do with it - how to use it and how not to use it - when to use it and when not to use it - and where to use it and where not to use it - if he is going to be a successful farmer.
V 13-20 talks about those characteristics of wisdom which deal with knowlege, learning, information, intelligence, data, facts, intellect, and experience.
V 21-24 talks about those characteristics of wisdom which deal with perception, discernment, judgement, reason, insight, prudence, discretion, and just plain ol’ common sense.
Resolution 7. HAVE NO FEAR V 25-26
25 Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, 26 for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.
Resolution 8. DO NOT WITHHOLD GOOD FROM THOSE WHO DESERVE IT V 27-28
27 Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. 28 Do not say to your neighbour, “Come back later; I’ll give it tomorrow” — when you now have it with you.
Resolution 9. DO NOT PLOT HARM AGAINST YOUR NEIGHBOR V 29-30
29 Do not plot harm against your neighbour, who lives trustfully near you. 30 Do not accuse a man for no reason — when he has done you no harm.
Resolution 10. DO NOT ENVY A VIOLENT MAN OR CHOOSE ANY OF HIS WAYS V 31 - 32
31 Do not envy a violent man or choose any of his ways, 32 for the LORD detests a perverse man but takes the upright into his confidence.
Verses 33-35 ARE SIMPLY STATEMENTS OF ADDITIONAL PROMISES IF WE KEEP THE ABOVE COMMANDS.
33 The LORD’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous. 34 He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble. 35 The wise inherit honour, but fools he holds up to shame.
Let us resolve today to pay close attention and adherence to these principles and see what God will do in our lives.