Page 15 - Herald Feburary 2023
P. 15

I wonder if you’ve made any New Year resolutions for 2023.
In a recent poll, the most popular of all New Year resolutions is the new fitness regime and joining a health club. 47% of Brits go for it. Next, we have the resolution to lose weight. 44% of Brits choose that resolution. The third is to improve one’s diet and eating more healthily, at 41%. Next we have saving money at 31% and finally 18% of us want to take up a new hobby, as we enter into the New Year.
There’s lots more we can choose isn’t there, like starting a new job, spending quality time with family, helping others and so on. But whatever it is, we often start with good intentions yet tend to falter a few months down the line. Let’s face it, some of us don’t even get out of the starting blocks.
That reminds me of the little boy who comes to his father and says “Dad, if three frogs were sitting on a branch that hung
over a pool, and one frog decided to jump off into the pool, how many frogs would be left on the branch?” The dad replied, “Two.”
“No,” the son replied. “There are three frogs, sitting on a branch; one decides to jump, how many are left?”
The dad said, “Oh, I get it, if one decides to jump, the others would too. So, there are none left.” The boy said, “No Dad, the answer is three. The frog only DECIDED to jump.”
Does that sound too often like our New Year resolutions? Great inspiration, but often we only decide, and months later we are still on the same branch of do-nothing. And even if we do manage to implement our New Year resolution, does it bring lasting contentment and purpose into our lives? If we’re honest with ourselves, I think not. That’s because as human beings we were made for something much more. In the Westminster Shorter Catechism written by the Puritans in 1646-47 the first question laid out is What is the chief end of man? In other words what are we here for? What is my purpose and duty in life? Atheists like Richard Dawkins believe man has no purpose. He states, “the universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.”
But Christians, thankfully, throughout the centuries have believed differently
because the answer to the question given isn’t pitiless indifference but Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.
Now that’s an awesome summary of the Christian life. That’s our purpose, our duty; the thing God has created us to do is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Of course, many of us don’t glorify God and neither do we enjoy him, because we see life devoid of God, without real meaning and some of us might be happy in that predicament and that’s fine. But others might be seriously unhappy with life’s lot and question that hopeless narrative: I know I was.
If that’s You, then I’ve got a New Year resolution like no other, because in 2023 God’s amazing grace is still available, to you, despite the fact that we live our lives without reference to God and have actually rebelled against God. Yet God made a resolution, in eternity past, to condescend towards us in the person of His Son who made God known and to reconcile back to God people who receive him through faith. The incarnation was necessary, because our sin has to be atoned for: as God is perfectly just, his divine justice must be satisfied.
No one is made right with God through their own resolutions, like being religious, religious rites, being a good person, etc, but we are made right through the righteousness of Jesus Christ, who,
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