Secular New Year’s Resolutions may include things such as abstinence from alcohol or cessation of tobacco use. Christian New Year’s Resolutions may include more time spent in prayer or more time spent reading the bible. Both sets are noble. Some rather benign resolutions that kick off the New Year almost always include losing weight or at least eating healthier or exercising more. At least here in America, these resolutions are common. Some may be more serious and include setting goals for education, a job change or even a radical life change. Still, if we took an accounting in February, we would likely find a lot of resolutions not kept.
To make it simple for readers this year, I decided to help those with resolutions to read the whole bible in 2015 actually learn the whole bible by the end of this short article. Are you ready?
And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31 KJV).
Understanding the bible is not as difficult as you thought it might be, is it? It is a foundational teaching. There is one God. You should love him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. If you really do love him like that, then you will also love your neighbor as yourself.
This means you will not serve idols of any kind because you know there is only one God. You will not create a version of God to follow, because you know there is already one God. In you loving him with your all, then service is not a problem. You will do what it takes to do his will, whether it takes time, effort, money or endurance. You will know the Holy Spirit and you will know Jesus because God, the Father, sent both of them (John 3:16, John 14:6, John 14:16-21). And, if you know God, you will be a servant to your neighbors in need to the extent of caring about them as much as you care about your own well-being and comfortable existence.
This fundamental concept . . . No, rather, this fundamental command is not complicated. Only the excuses to alter it to make it more suitable to human will rather than God’s will creates complications. Every thing you do or do not do in the name of Almighty God can be broken down to its constituent parts, to its bedrock fundamental, by examining it through the lens of those three verses.
Happy New Year with one resolution established for this year and the rest of your life!