‘The Endless Round of Resolutions’

 

  

 

 ‘The Endless Round of Resolutions’

By Pastor Mark Anderson  

Lutheran Church of the Master, Corona del Mar, CA

With the new year comes the time for resolutions. As we look back over the year that was, most of us can identify aspects of our lives that could use some improvement or adjustment, at the very least. What strikes me about this annual exercise is that it never ends.  Still, making New Years’ resolutions can at least give one a sense of hope, if nothing else.  I would like to hope, as each year rolls around, that some prospect exists for a remediation of life; lose weight, be more efficient in use of time, “smell the roses” a bit more often, and so forth. There is something going on here that cuts deeply into the reality of life in God’s world, life lived under the demands of God’s law.

Theologian Gerhard Forde once wrote,

For it is the supernatural pretension of law, its
unbreakable absoluteness that makes it
unbearable and drives man in his endless quest
to be rid of it.”

The simple reason we never seem to arrive at the fulfillment of our lives (thus, the return to annual resolutions) is because the expectations of fulfillment are always one step ahead of us. The law is always ahead of us.  Again, Forde writes;

Law does two things to us, come
what may. It sets limits to sinful and destructive
behavior, usually by some sort of persuasion or
coercion -ultimately by death itself; and it accuses of
sin. That is simply what it does. We have no choice in
the matter.”

Under these circumstances, our failure to keep the demands of our resolutions (read, ‘repentance’) must lead us to either laugh or cry. The law offers no compassion.

So, you see, the apparently innocuous annual new year’s resolution is actually a window into the reality of the human condition before God. We are bound to law in all it’s forms and it’s absolute demands. And all of them are summed up in the greatest of all commandments;

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
mind and strength and your neighbor as yourself.”

How about that for a New Year’s resolution!

If the law is always ahead of us with it’s endless demands, Christ Jesus is even further ahead with His cross and forgiveness. This is what the Bible means when it declares, “Christ is the end of the law.”
We cannot bring and end to the law.  Only Christ is the end of the law for faith.

If the endless failures of your life’s resolutions are getting to you, they are supposed to!… in order that you might see your need for Jesus, who brings an end to the law, it’s demands and accusations.

So, as 2012 begins, make all the resolutions you want! (Personally, I’m going for weight loss.)  Just remember that your life is already fulfilled in Jesus.  

Without Him we have nothing. With Him we have it all!

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                                 Grace to you,

                                                   Pastor Mark                                                    

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______________________________________________________________________________

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Thank you, Pastor Mark.

And thanks to flickr and ifeelstock (calender), and also michaelrparker (scale).

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4 Responses

  1. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
    mind and strength and your neighbor as yourself.”

    That would be the best resolution we could make. I absolutely agree, Pastor Mark, because most (maybe all) of our other decisions to do this, and to refrain from that might be a failure.
    The more I experience such failures, the more I’m discouraged, and the initial hope of making it will vanish soon. Too often experienced…

    So what to do?
    Am I able to love God, my neighbors and myself? As for me, no. Mission impossible. Much too often experienced.

    Particularly looking at the Sermon on the Mount, I realized some day that none of Jesus’ commands would be achievable for me. His commandments concerning anger, lust, and – Phew! – loving my enemies. No – not that as well ( I already have problems with my friends!). But suddenly I glanced at the first phrase. Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

    That’s it!

    And honestly, this is my liberating daily experience. To be poor in spirit means that I’m a loser without God constantly helping me, and that I need Him in every area of life. Jesus is the kingdom of heaven, the door to enter it, achievable for sinners like me who failed, and failed, and who don’t want to change at all. I am blessed because I know that I’m loved the way I am with all my idiosyncrasies, my bad habits, and even when I’m bad-tempered.

    May I say that Jesus cannot stop loving us, no matter how we feel about not measuring up? One of the greatest promises for me is
    “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
    Why shouldn’t He love us just the way we are? Finally, He is the one who truly knows that He alone can set us free. So why should He blame us?
    Therefore, we can rely on Him completely. Isn’t that good news?

  2. Thanks for posting, Steve!

    After all, let me confess something to you. I could see that you are a very, very funny guy. When I read your comment over at TGC

    “Hello…?”
    “Is this thing on?…”

    I really collapsed. ROFL + LOL = OUCH
    And I still have sore tummy muscles from laughing…
    Thanks, you did a good deed with it.

  3. It is good news, Susanne! Very good news!

    ________________________________________

    I’m glad you got a chuckle from my comment over there.

    Sometimes I get the feeling that my comments on the Sacraments over there at TGC come onto their monitors with ‘invisable ink’.

    Thankfully, a few of them argued with my views. I’d much rather have that then no respose at all.

  4. […] FROM End Times Prophecy source https://theoldadam.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/the-endless-round-of-resolutions/ #family movie -THE LAMP- one family's loss shows them how to turn to Faith instead of magic […]

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