Resolution: “a firm decision to do or not to do something.”  or “the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter.”  (As defined by google.)new year resolutions_t

Based upon the definition given, a resolution can be a statement or goal determined to set in order for a person to accomplish a specific task.  Resolutions should not be decisions that are made lightly.  Resolutions should not hinder us from living.  For the believer, resolutions should be something that help us in our walk with Christ.  Scriptures are filled with resolutions.  There are all sorts of decisions or principles given that help achieve a goal when applied properly to life.

Mark 12:28-34 says, “Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceivingthat He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?” Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” So the scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He. And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”  Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”  But after that no one dared question Him.”

In this passage Jesus establishes the most important thing:  Love the Lord with all your heart, all your mind, and all your strength.  What are so important about those components?  They are important because they make up who we are as people.  The heart refers to our inner self.  The mind determines how we take what our heart says and relays it to the action part of us.  Our strength refers to what we do with our actions.  How do we take the heart and mind and apply it to our living?  Do we ever apply what we know to our how we live? What if believers committed to loving God with all of our heart, mind, and strength?  I dare say that our nation would never be the same.  I believe our world would never be the same.

Consider this:  Jesus didn’t stop there.  He continued and added that the second commandment was like it.  You should love your neighbor as yourself.  Let me summarize once again for those of you keeping score at home:  Love the Lord with all your heart, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor the same way you love yourself.  In other words, we are to take our eyes off of ourselves and love God with every fiber of our being.  We are to look at the needs of others and love them the same way we love ourselves.

The question comes into mind then, how do we do this? How do we resolve to love God with all of our heart, mind and strength and how do we love others as ourselves?

  1.  View God’s Word as essential.  We need to determine that what God has to say about things is the most important.
  2. View your love of God as a critical component to your life.  It is not enough that we just “survive” spiritually.  We must determine to feed our love for God.  We must realize that God desires our love.
  3. View how we process information in our heart and mind vital to our spiritual health.  What we dwell on will affect how we think, what we do, and how we say things.  Everything we take in affects our world view.
  4. View the needs of strangers with importance.  Decide to look around and have compassion on people.  Don’t just have compassion on people you like.  Have compassion on those who are helpless.  Have compassion on those who are unlovely.  Have compassion on those that cannot help themselves, cannot return the favor, and do not necessarily like you or what you stand for as a believer.

As 2014 kicks off, lets resolve to love our God with everything within us and lets resolve to look out for the needs of others just as much as we do for ourselves.  If we do these things, you will find that your perspective of your God and your neighbors will truly change.