January 02, 2008

Resolved (Day 2)

Yesterday, we started with Jonathan Edwards resolutions and looked at #'s 1 and 2. Today I want to look at resolution #3:

Resolved: If ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.

Jonathan Edwards knew that we all, no matter how hard we try (or how resolved we are) will wander. The great Christian hymn "Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing" says as much. Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.

It is our natural and easiest bent. We exercise religious fervor for a time. But then it gets old and we move on to the next exciting things that we can find. We as people are not good at keeping resolutions. So it is amazing that Jonathan Edwards built into his resolutions the concept of repentance.

Repentance is a lost thing among church goers these days. Very few people are repenting of anything. If anything, they are charging headlong into more areas of stupidity and idiocy. We are sinful people who want to indulge our desires, not deny them. We want to enjoy the pleasure of sin, not examine the ugliness of our hearts. If anything, I would say that unbelievers have most Christians licked in the area of examining oneself and then intentionally changing one's choices and behavior.

So what are we to do? Surely by now you've already blown half the resolutions you made for yourself going into 2008. And if you haven't, the end is surely near. It's not if you're going to blow it. It's when. And then the question becomes, when you blow it – are you going to get back on the road you were on and keep going?

We are not perfect, nor will we ever be. Edwards knew this. And he knew that when we blew it, the true nature of our communion with Jesus would be revealed. Because those who give up once they blow it, were only trying to do it for themselves. But those who blow it, and still press on, understand that Jesus gives us the grace to repent and that our standing with Him doesn't diminish just because we fell.

Jesus fell three times and needed help to get to Calvary. We fall every minute and need Christ's help getting to the finish. Edwards knew no matter how resolute he was, it was not Jonathan Edwards who was anything but Jesus was everything and that is why He must repent of falling short.

We repent because that is what brings honor to Jesus. Not quitting.

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