Psalm 90:12 NIV - Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
In the early 1700s, an 18-year-old man realized his need to be intentional about his spiritual life. Over the course of nearly a year, he wrote what he called his “Resolutions” - his spiritual goals to read daily and strive to live by, not in his own strength and ability but in the power of God’s grace. This teenaged individual, Jonathan Edwards, would be one of the chief influencers in the Great Awakening religious revival in America. As we begin a New Year - a time for thinking of resolutions, let’s examine some of Jonathan Edwards’s Resolutions (using and adding to portions rewritten in modern English by Dennis Griffith and Chris Quinlan). Aside from how extraordinary it was for an 18/19-year-old to pursue God so passionately and maturely, will you consider something as simple as reviewing some of his Resolutions every week, or even every day of 2017? Consider how we may try to imitate or at least approximate Edwards’s Resolutions. He began correctly focused on God’s grace:
“Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly entreat him by his grace to enable me to keep these resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will for Christ’s sake.”
FOLLOWING OTHERS’ GOOD EXAMPLES
Resolved: Always to do that which I will wish I had done whenever I see others do it.
RESPONDING TO HURT INFLICTED UPON YOU
Resolved: To never take any action out of a desire for revenge.
SELF-CONTROL OVER APPETITE
Resolved: To watch my diet, being quite strict in choosing what I eat and drink.
Resolved: When telling stories, never to speak anything but the pure and simple truth.
Resolved: Never to do anything which I would be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.
Colossians 3:17 NIV - And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
For all 70 Resolutions in Modern English:
To see the original Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards: