Monday, January 04, 2010

A New Years Resolution for 2009

Yes. I did say 2009.

Most of the time, those who enter into that sacred rhythmic act of making and breaking resolutions do so with failures of the past year in their rearview mirror. Think about it – resolutions don’t come out of nowhere. They are the balm applied to a wounded conscience regarding the life lived in the past year. They are do-overs. We take a mulligan, pick up a different club and try again. Almost all resolutions are inextricably bound up in the misdeeds or the undone ones of the 12 months previous.

So here is a resolution for all of you who failed miserably last year. Resolve to believe the gospel of what God has done in Jesus to save you from all you screwed up last year. For some reason we have bought into the idea that God has forgiven all our sins we committed before we ever believed in this gospel of blood-bought forgiveness. But after we believe we must make some kind of penance for all we have left undone and ummm, done. That isn’t good news; it’s crappy news.

How about this for good news? Every sin you committed last year was dealt with on the cross. It has been forgiven. Gone like the wind. “…as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us (Psalm 103:12).” It is as if you have never sinned. You stand before God pure as the freshly-fallen and driven snow. Resolve to believe it.

Believe it even you if you committed what you think is a terribly sinful sin. Why? Because you do not stand in front of God naked as so many people lead you to believe. Resolve to believe that lie no more. You stand before God robed in the rich garments of Christ and his work on our behalf. You are in Christ.

Now no one else will treat you like this. Well, perhaps some friends and family will but do not expect the police to forgive you as God does. God forgives the gravest of crimes against humanity but you still may have to pay that fine or spend some time in the big house. But even as you sit in your cell you are the freest of me from all your sins.

Make no mistake. There aren’t any exceptions. Grace is free. Gratis. You don’t get to pay for this with new and better lives in 2010. You can’t even if you wanted to do such a foolish thing.

Can you hear them? You know, the voices and concerns of those who want to say “but…” and “well then…” There is grace for them even, grace bigger than the world –the world of earned righteousness they reside in so miserably. And the good news? The good news is they can resolve to do this in 2011.


Southern Cheesehead said...

Amen! I love this post. I posted about resolutions as well...a little different thread, but common topic. Check it out!

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