Have you nailed down your New Year’s resolutions for 2014 yet? If you are having difficulty, here is a list of the most popular commitments that people make (then break) around the first of each year:
- Lose weight
- Quit smoking/drinking/doing drugs
- Get in shape
- Spend more time with friends/family
- Save money
- Learn something new
Or you could simply default to what people are really going to do this year:
This year I resolve to take more selfies and tweet mesmerizing things like what I had for breakfast or my epic battles with first world problems like: “I have a papercut on my iPad finger. Every tweet is agony, but i persist bravely.”
I decided to take a different path, as my 2014 New Year’s resolution is to be less stressed out, and I think I can do it!
As long as everything in my life goes perfectly and nothing bad happens at all of course…
Best of luck (cough cough, because you will need it) with keeping your resolutions, not because you are a bad or lazy person, but because you are actually called to something much more noble than a shallow list of self-improvements.
That’s why I would suggest you make a riskolution, instead of a resolution…why? Because when you add risk into the equation, you take on a higher calling that can only be accomplished through the power of the Holy Spirit living inside you. Resolutions fail because our flesh is weak – but riskolutions succeed because they are energized by an all-powerful God!
Need some evidence? Check out these examples:
Noah risked becoming a boat builder in his old age, and he saved the human race from destruction.
Moses risked going back to Egypt where he was wanted for murder, and God empowered him to deliver 3 million people from slavery.
David risked a fight with a heavily armed, 9 foot tall giant, and he defeated the enemy of God’s people.
Mary risked death by stoning so she could carry the Son of God in her womb, and she was given the honor of bringing our Savior into the world.
And yes, Jesus Christ risked leaving His throne in heaven to endure all the pain and suffering on earth to pay the penalty for our sins!
Most of us are not called to riskolutions on a Noah, Moses, or Mary scale, but all of us can choose to follow in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” (2 Timothy 4:7).
These are some of the last words that Paul wrote to his friend Timothy, and they serve as a well defined plan for our New Year.
“I have fought the good fight.”
The Christian life is a fight – so will you fight in 2014? Never give up in your struggles with temptation in areas of your life where the Enemy would love to have victory. Fight to be obedient to Jesus’ calling on your life, and fight for the souls of your friends who don’t know Him as Savior. It’s risky, but this year may be your last chance to win victories and bring glory to God!
“I have finished the race.”
The Christian life is a race – will you run in 2014? Following Jesus takes focus and discipline, so make 2014 the year that you view your prayer life, Bible study, and THE Cause with the devotion of an Olympic athlete. You will risk the ridicule of others, but this could be your last race!
“I have remained faithful.”
The Christian life is an assignment to guard the faith – so will you be faithful in 2014? There will be many distractions and deceptions that could lure you away from your post, but this could be the year that the Captain of our salvation returns!
And should this be our last year to serve Christ, our commitment and obedience to carry out these riskolutions will allow us to echo the victory that Paul claimed:
And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing (2 Timothy 4:8).
Fight the fight…finish the race…remain faithful – and 2014 will be the greatest year of your life!
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
Forget resolutions this year, take a stand for your faith and THE Cause with a riskolution for Jesus Christ. If you do, God will empower you to make an eternal difference both here on earth and in heaven!
Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause
Pray: Jesus, thank You for a chance to serve You in 2014. I pray that we will take our eyes off ourselves and keep them on to You, the Author and Finisher of our faith.
Read: Hebrews 12:1-2. Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
Discussion Guide for Leaders
Big Idea: The New Year is an opportunity to make riskolutions for Jesus in the power of the Spirit for THE Cause of Christ.
Key Scripture: 2 Timothy 4:7-8
- What resolutions have you kept or broken in the past?
- What is the difference between a resolution and a riskolution?
- What does Paul’s riskolution look like in your life?
- How can you apply this Soul Fuel to your efforts to advance THE Cause of Christ?