Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Edwards' Resolutions - 1 & 2

Every year we make resolutions, which we make our best attempt to complete. But how often do these attempts end in failure? Why is this? I think it is primarily because we are working toward goals that are usually aimed at making us happy. But what makes us happy? Would losing weight make us happy? Maybe. But what if we gain that weight back, then what? We see ourselves as failures and are probably sadder than when we made that resolution to lose weight. (Don't get me wrong I think losing weight is great if a person is over weight and would not discourage anyone who needs to lose weight from that fight)

But what makes us happy? Christ makes us happy, not a superficial, short lived happy. But a deep joy and eternal joy that can only come from God, Christ's work on the cross, and his written word. People say we are most happy when we are doing what we were made to do. What was I made to do, what is going to be that thing I strive for that will bring me the greatest joy? I think it is well put in the Westminster Shorter Catechism. What is the chief end of man? To Glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

Ultimately ours "rules" for how we are to glorify God and enjoy him are written in the holy scriptures. They are our ultimate authority. But there have be other things written in line with scripture and still subordinate to the scriptures that guide us and test ourselves to see if we are living a life that is glorifying to God.

One list I like to look at regularly and test myself is the Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards. Written between 1772 and 1773 Edwards penned the 70 resolutions, which he read over each week to examine his life. He was adamant that it was not him keeping these resolutions in his own strength, but with the help of Christ.

"Being sensible that I am unable to do any thing without God’s help, I do humbly entreat him, by his grace, to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ’s sake"-Jonathan Edwards
I am going to be looking at these throughout this year and sharing them a couple at a time here. I will examine my life as I read through these. Not to have a check list that I can check off each day or week. I desire to grow in my relationship with Christ and in joy, knowing joy is complete in Christ. I pray Christ will enable me to keep these resolutions - I'm not sure to what degree. But more importantly would He enable me to keep in line with the holy scriptures and all it contains.

Resolutions 1& 2

1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God's glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriad's of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many and how great soever.

2. Resolved, to be continually endeavoring to find out some new invention and contrivance to promote the aforementioned things.
Oh, how I fail dreadfully when I try to do these things on my own. Lord, enable me. Lord, guide my desires, crush those things within me that are self-serving, prideful, and contrary to your word and are not glorifying.

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