As we enter 2023, many of us may be thinking about our own resolutions for the new year. In this 5-day Bible study, we will focus on God's resolutions - His will - for us in the coming year. Our devotions will be based primarily on Peter's words from 2 Peter 1:3-9, where he encourages believers to make every effort to add goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love to their faith. By seeking to align our lives with God's will and cultivating these virtues, we can more fully live out our faith and experience the blessings of following God's plan for our lives.
Summary: God will empower our growth as our will aligns with His.
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As we approach a New Year, it is common for many of us to think of how we can improve ourselves. A YouGov survey records the UK’s top-ten resolutions for 2022 as:
Lose weight / Improve diet
Save more money.
Pursuing a career ambition.
Decorating/renovating my home.
Learn a new skill or hobby.
Cutting down on drinking.
Spending more time with family/friends.
Most people fail to keep their New Year’s Resolutions. We start our running or Bible-reading scheme with gusto on the 1st of January only to find that we’re a week behind before we know it!
It's important to remember that our own personal goals and desires should not take precedence over seeking to understand and align with God's will for our lives. While it may be tempting to focus on achieving things like physical fitness, material possessions, or social status, these things may not necessarily be in line with God's priorities for us. Instead, we should strive to understand what God's priorities are for us and seek to align our own resolutions and actions with His will. As Peter writes, it's crucial that we seek to know God's will and His resolutions for us, rather than simply trying to fulfill our own desires and goals. Peter writes:
‘His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.’ (2 Peter 1:3-4)
GOD’S RESOLUTION FOR YOU
God's resolution for us is that we become more like Jesus and ‘participate in the divine nature’. This means living our lives in a way that reflects Jesus' nature and character, and striving to escape ‘the corruption caused by evil desires’ that remain present in us. Our primary ambition should be to become more like Christ in every aspect of our lives, as this is what God desires for us. This resolution is fundamental and of true worth, as it involves seeking to align our hearts and actions with God's will and His plan for our lives. Overall, God's resolution for us is to grow in our relationship with Him and to become more like Jesus in all that we do.
GOD’S POWER AND PROMISES
God’s resolution for us will be realised only as we rely on God’s ‘divine power’. If our wills are in accord with God’s will, He will empower us to achieve it! We are promised ‘divine power’ for this ‘godly life’ that we are to seek. He has given us ‘precious promises so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires;’ our transformation into Christlikeness is enabled by the power and promises of God. Any effort that we make will have to be by faith in God’s promises and power.
Firstly, are you a Christian? have you come to a knowledge of Him? Have you been born again so that you have a new approach to life where Jesus is your Lord and Saviour?
If we are Christians, God has a resolution for us; I hope that none of us thinks we've 'arrived'! He wants us to increasingly ‘escape the corruption of the world’; He wants us to learn to refuse our ‘evil desires’; He is committed to our growth in holiness. Will we make this our resolution?
Take some time to meditate on 2 Peter 1:3-4 - such a rich text. Thank God for His divine power to help you in your growth. Ask Him to search you: are you truly seeking His will above all things?