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NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS: RESOLVING WHAT REALLY MATTERS

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There's just something about New Year's resolutions, isn't there? In July, it all seems overrated or pointless. No one is thinking about their top New Year's resolutions; we're all just getting through our daily lives.

But about two days after Christmas, when the fabric gift wrap has been folded and put away and the dishes are finally done, the energy of the upcoming year starts to fall upon me. I can't help it. I love Big Ideas, bigger plans and the excitement that change and personal growth brings. It's fresh and shiny and holds all the promise of the world. Nothing feels as good as getting caught up in the collective energy of so many people embracing something new and better in their lives.

Which leads me to my thoughts on New Year's resolutions: For me, the most important resolution is to resolve to serve God wholeheartedly the rest of your life with your family or household. Why? Joshua's example explains.

The Bible Book of Joshua chapter 24 read: “15And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.   

16And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods;    17For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed: 18And the LORD drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the LORD; for he is our God.

It is what you serve that is your master. Your master is what rules, controls and directs you in life.

Your service to your master is what lift, promote and bring honour to your life. Service qualifies you for enthronement and prosperity in life. Your serving the One who controls and guarantee life eternal is what make life meaningful, prosperous and enjoyable.

Hear what the Bible says on this:  Romans 6:  16Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?  17But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you”. If you resolve to serve God in the New Year, then, God become your Master.

It is only God the Master of the universe that guarantees new lease of life, better deal, successful plans and prosperous year ahead. Hear the Bible again:  Job 36: “11If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures.    12But if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge.” It is only when you resolve to serve God that in all your days on earth that prosperous life is guaranteed.

More or also, honour comes by serving God: John 12: “26If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.” If you serve God not only you will be honoured, you will also follow His lead and be with Him. No where is life secured and protected than in Jesus Christ. He is life (Jn 14:6). The Creator and sustainer of life (Jn.1:3, Col.1:15-16).

God has full proof plan than make life not only better much more life that succeeds beyond measures and overcomes the hassles of life. Psalm 33: 6By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.   

7He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses.    8Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.9For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.    10The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect.   

11The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.  12Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” No plans of God can be annulled. His plans are full proof (Job 42:2, Isa. 14:24, 26-27).

God the Creator only knows the year 2012 from the beginning to the end and determines what will be. So resolving to serve God with your household is the most important New Year resolution. For He says, Jeremiah 29: “11For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” God has better plans for His creations. Like Joshua the leader of the nation of Israel resolved to do in Bible, to serve God and not any other gods, you resolve to live your life under God's leadership, control and rule. Think about it! Who brought you into this world? Who can take you through this world of great evil successfully except God the creator, finisher of our faith?

Resolving what really matters, not the crises you go through nor the present need in your life. What really matters is a resolution under God to live for God, serve Him and committing yourself to obey His instruction in His Word the Bible and resolving to do His will and let Him lead you through.

Proverb 16: “3Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.”  Proverb 3: “5Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.    6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.   

7Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.”  When Joshua and the nation of Israel resolved to serve God, God led them out of captivity to their promise land. He provided for them under His guidance. What better guarantee do we need to make a New Year resolution that matters?

According to sustainablebabystep.com: “A resolution is only truly sustainable (successful) if it serves a bigger purpose. But too often we disconnect ourselves from those bigger purposes.

We feel too small, too insignificant and the problems all feel Way Too Big. How can we make real changes when we feel so incompetent? The paradox is that in order to focus on the Big Picture (the environmental, social and political issues) we need to first focus on ourselves.

It's absolutely imperative that we first become the people that CAN create real change in the world. Because how can we expect to make and have an impact, stand up to corruption or get involved in helping others when we're overworked, stressed, unhealthy, exhausted or overwhelmed?”

“Think Global, Act Personal: it's the saying Think Global, Act Local: it's about the Big Picture but it starts with the individual. And by focusing our attention on the Big Picture, we can better define the brush with which we paint our part.

Don't ask yourself what you want to do this year; ask yourself why you want to do it. Who do you want to be and what does that person look like, say and do with their life? What will you do with more energy from a healthy lifestyle? How will you spend the extra time and money you earn to improve the world around you? What's your Big Picture purpose for setting those top New Year's resolutions? And how can changing your life change the world? Personally-defined success, true happiness and deep fulfillment are what create real sustainability”.

Rethinking the Top New Year's Resolutions: This year, as you consider what you're ready to create in the coming year, think about these top New Year's resolutions from a new perspective: Improving Your Health: In most cases personal and environmental health are interlinked.

When you think about improving your health this year, consider things like eating fresh, local foods to help you lose weight and support organic farming. While you're kicking that smoking habit, go chemical-free in other areas of your life with natural household cleaners and organic pest control.

Organizing Your Home and Life: We all know how the chaos in our homes affects our sense of well-being. It creates stress and fills our free time with more chores. And the accumulation of all that "stuff" does harm to our natural resources. Donating our excess to a good cause keeps it out of a landfill.

And by decreasing our consumption of new "stuff" we keep our environmental footprint small. Getting Out of Debt: Nothing is less personally sustainable than debt. And decreasing our spending is usually the first step to decreasing debt. But did you know there are many ways in which you can go green to save money? And once you're debt-free you can start investing those savings in even more sustainable changes.

Improving Your Lifestyle: Spending more time with loved ones, getting involved with a charity, or reconnect to your spiritual beliefs all depend on a healthy, happy life. Create that purpose by getting involved with the things that matter most to you. 

Above all, remember the Big Picture and keep painting your small part of it. Happy Christmas and prosperous New Year with your New Year resolution God will see you through 2012 a better person in Christ Jesus.

By Dr. Lewis Akpogena
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