Three commitments for 2009 (plus one)
Reading in Psalm 146 this week and I come away with three commitments for the year plus one from Hebrews 10. I think I like the idea of New Year commitments better than New Year resolutions!
First of all, I will be grateful and practice daily praise and thanksgiving. From verse 1, Praise the Lord all the days of my life. If I can make a commitment like the Psalmist to daily, hourly, moment by moment to praise the Lord, what a difference life would make and I suspect my experience of Him moment by moment would be greatly affected. I wrote this morning, “Before anything happens I have made a decision that I will praise Yahweh–before the sun rise, before I hear the news of the day, before troubles come or joys come my way. I will praise Yahweh as long as I live–this is my commitment. I tell this to my soul, Praise him until there is no more breath left in me. Yes, this is foundational, basic, this is where life should begin. This gives perspective to life.
Second, I will not trust in human resources to do what only God can do. Coming out of verses 2 and 3. Do not trust in princes says the Psalmist. For me, I could change this to political leaders, religious leaders, dissertation advisors, financial supporters, financial advisors, my organization, my wife and children, my friends. There will be temptations to put my trust in these and more but I make a committment to not do so, that my joy will not be dependent upon any of these coming through for me. They will die, they will fail, they are finite, they cannot save. Not like the Lord Jesus who is able to save completely (Heb 7:25) Ended up reading Hebrews 1-10 this morning after thinking about this. Now, this is not saying I want to be independent and isolated or will be emotionally remote from others. In fact, I long to be even more engaged with others and yet, I do not expect that human resources will satisfy my deepest longings. Yes, I know, God may meet my needs thru other people. Anyway, this is my committment list, not yours!
Third, I will put my trust in God. Verse 5, Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is the Lord his God. Then, the Psalmist gives a description of this God in whom we trust
- maker of heaven and earth
- remains faithful forever
- upholds the cause of the oppressed
- gives food to hungry
- sets prisoners free
- gives sight to the blind
- lifts up those who are bowed down
- loves the righteous
- watches over the alien
- sustains the fatherless
- frustrates the ways of the wicked
- REIGNS forever!
And, reading in Hebrews, as I fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and pioneer of my faith, he is the one that brings many sons to glory, source of eternal savlation 5:9, entered holy place on our behalf 6:20, able to save completely 7:25, offers eternal redemption 9:12, cleanses my conscience 9:14, sets us free, made perfect forever those who are being made holy 10:14, givs us confidence 10:19
Fourth, I will not give up. I will hold onto hope, 10:23m draw near to God with a sincere heart 10:22 etc. Key verse here and maybe my verse for 2009 is found in 10:35-36
Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God you will receive what He has promised.
And verse 39, we are not those who shrink back and are destroyed–we are those who believe and are saved. All this fits well with my reading in 2 Peter 1:10.11 Be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things you will never fall and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.