January 1 has rolled around again as the perpetual reminder that our finite human existance marches on like sand through our fingers. It was the psalmist who wisely said "teach me Lord to number my days". In the light of eternity we can see the futility of pouring our energy into worldly pursuits. Even botox will not travel into the next life - which must be a shock to some!
But the line in the sand that happens on the first of January each year is also a timely reminder of the futility of moralism and a reminder that Calvin got it right with his doctrine of total depravity. New years resolutions have about as much going for them as Rick Warren's moralistic therapeutic sermons. Fallen men vow anew to change their fallen nature just like the church growth gurus who spend their time week in/week out trying to persuade goats to act like sheep.
The heart of the human problem remains the problem of the human heart. A professing Christian recently handed back a Gospel tract I gave him saying "I'm already a Christian so I don't need that". He would do well to heed the counsel of the Apostle Paul and examine himself to see whether he is "in the faith". We never outgrow our need for the Gospel either as a reminder of our total dependence on Christ or as a reminder of our desperate need for Him. Unless God breathes on our valley of dry bones then we remain but dust! I've never been one for new year's resolutions but I am a passionate advocate of the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.
Salvation is of the Lord. Without Him we can do nothing. If you must start the new year with a resolution, then meditate on those two thoughts.
A La Carte (November 14)
6 hours ago