KEEP LOOKING UP!
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
"And He said also unto His disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a
steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. And
he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account
of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward. Then the steward said
within himself, what shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I
cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed. I AM RESOLVED WHAT TO DO, that, when I
am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses."
Luke 16:1-4 (caps mine)
When we speak of New Year's resolutions, we seem to automatically think of a
promise we make to ourselves, and normally break soon afterward. No one really
takes New Year's resolutions very seriously. We promise to go on a diet, start an
exercise program, find a hobby, set up a budget, develop a savings plan, increase
our education, improve ourselves, etc., etc.
How New Year's resolutions began, I am not sure. When I checked my
concordance for "resolve,” "resolved" and "resolution," I found only this one
occurrence, as quoted above. At first, I thought it strange that the only time the
word "resolved" was used; it pertained to one's carnal nature, not spiritual. Also,
"resolved" is used here as a plan of action, not just a promise for the moment. As
usual, the key was hanging near the door.
"...for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of
DO YOU HAVE A PLAN FOR 1997 (and 2018?)
We are constantly made aware of opportunities to develop plans. There are
seminars on planning one's career, education, insurance, vacation, retirement,
marriage, investments, vocation, family size and estate planning. When is the last
time you saw a seminar offered on the subject of planning for eternity? Bible
study? Soul-winning? Dedication? Godly living? Prayer? (Usually what is offered
on "prayer" is really a selfish program on "How to get God to do what you want
Too often, our lives coincide with the lyrics of a recent country song, "...just living
for the moment." It seems we seldom have any direction past the end of the week
or payday. Some even attempt to justify their lack of planning as scriptural, by
quoting "...take therefore no thought for tomorrow..." (Matthew 6:34,) obviously
"Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: which having no
guide, overseer or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer and gathereth food in
The Bible is filled with warnings pertaining to laziness and lack of preparation,
both physical and spiritual.
CAN YOU WRITE YOUR PLAN?
If we cannot write our plan, we probably do not have a plan! Certainly it is
important to transmit our goals in writing for 1997, but it is just as
important to align our goals in order of their priority. When I was in
business I found it much easier to formulate monetary and growth goals
than I have in establishing spiritual goals. The natural is really much
easier than the spiritual, even when we have a "ministry." Sometimes it is
very easy for "our ministry" to become carnal. Our priorities can become
expansion, more equipment, more funding, larger groups...
WHO DOES OUR PLAN GLORIFY?
How easy it is to begin with a burden to get God's MESSAGE OUT and
end up trying to get MONEY IN! Many years ago someone stated that
real joy meant putting Jesus first, Others second and Yourself last (JOY.)
How often we get frustrated, bitter, envious and just plain aggravated
because we have rearranged these letters. Being God's child, even
recognized as a spiritual leader, does not make anyone immune from
self-aggrandizement, even in the "ministry" of Jesus Christ.
May we all "resolve" to tell more people about the saving grace of Jesus
Christ. We seem much more concerned about what God will give us than
what we are willing to sacrifice for Him.
Pray for us in LOOPS that we will be willing to give whatsoever it takes to
honor the Name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in 1997 (and
Keep Looking Up!
In loving memory of Leland Maples
Written 21 years ago and it still holds true today.