I seem to be slow to jump on this train but here I am among a large group of others who have found great wealth in the theology and resolve of a man named Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758). And during this season of life, many turn to making what are known as resolutions. I have never been a fan of resolutions in the way that many make resolutions. I have no desire to set my mind to something that I know I will break within a few months or even a few weeks or days. But Edwards was resolved in a way that I want to be resolved. He waited not for the new year to turn before making resolutions. He made what are known as Jonathan Edwards’ Resolutions during the ages of 19-20. Seventy resolutions ranging from the use of time, the study of the Word of God, the use of food and drink, to life and death which became a tool to move Edwards and many after him who would read the Resolutions to a higher plane of spirituality.
I have thought about the time of year that we find ourselves in and in what ways I desire to be “Resolved in 2011.” And while I refuse simple and puerile resolutions, I desire to be moved higher in my pursuit of the things of God as Edwards did. I have been most influenced by his 28th Resolution: 28. Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.
My “resolution” for 2011 is the same as Edwards’ 28th Resolve.
I am resolved in 2011 to study the scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.
This resolution doesn’t mean that I am starting now to study, but that I desire to grow more and more in my study of them.
Proverbs 3:1-4 says, “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, 2for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. 3Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. 4So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.”
There are two ways in which I am hoping to grow in the knowledge of the Word of God that you might find helpful if this is your desire, as it should be the desire of all who follow Christ (Psalm 1).
(1) A more comprehensive Bible reading plan. I have chosen Grant Horner’s Bible Reading plan which involves reading in 10 different places in the Bible each day, a total of ten chapters a day. Bob Kauflin speaks to the benefits he has found in this plan here.
If you would like to check out this plan or other plans that might give you a structure to your Bible intake visit Justin Taylor’s post here.
(2) I am joining many in memorizing the book of Philippians in the new year. In the first sixteen weeks of 2011 I hope to accomplish this. If you would like to join me in this pursuit and would like more details visit the Resurgence and read the article by Tim Brister.
I hope to also make other resolutions which I can be led to a more intimate relationship with God my Father and which will make me more useful in service of my King. I pray that you find opportunities this new year to do the same.
Happy New Year!