The New Year is a good time to review our commitments. What do we spend our time doing? For most of us, it’s work and family, commitments which are not optional. We work or go to school. We live with others or maintain friendships. Then there are commitments to healthy living - exercise, nutrition, adequate sleep. Work, family and health are the usual objects of New Year’s resolutions.
Do we also think about our commitment to God?
As Methodist Christians, we’ve all taken vows if we’re full members of the church. Most of us did this at our Confirmation. But with the years, it’s easy to put our vows on autopilot. For review, here are the vows as listed in the service of baptism:
Do you renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of this world, and repent of your sin?
Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves?
Do you confess Jesus Christ as your Savior, put your whole trust in his grace, and promise to serve him as your Lord, in union with the church which Christ has opened to people of all ages, nations, and races?
Will you remain faithful members of Christ’s holy church and serve as Christ’s representatives in the world?
In simpler language:
Have we turned away from sin?
Do we believe in Jesus and follow him?
Have we accepted God’s forgiveness through Christ?
Do we serve God in the church, and in the world?
In terms of commitment, we can ask ourselves this question: if someone followed us around for a week, would they know we were Christians? Would the way we used money, treated others, or spent our time provide evidence of our Christian commitment?
There may be some areas of our walk with God that would benefit from recommitment - prayer and Bible meditation, attending worship, Christian service inside or outside the church, or our lifestyle. Spend 10 minutes today thinking about these questions, and resolve in some definite way to live a more Christlike life. You will benefit, and so will those you live and work with.
Happy New Year, Pastor Eric