“It’s that time of the year,” Stan began, “when people make all sorts of resolutions for the new year. Some resolutions that were made have probably already been broken!”
Continuing, he said, “There was a point in my earlier Christian life when I made resolutions to be more faithful to God and to be more obedient to what God had for me to be and to do.”
“How did those resolutions work out?” I asked.
“Not very well,” Stan replied. “Resolving to do something is not the same thing as doing it. And I was trying to do it on my own.”
Continuing, he added, “And I saw the same thing in something Jesus did not ask Peter after Jesus had been resurrected.”
“Something Jesus did not ask? What do you mean?”
“Before Jesus went to the cross, died, was buried, and then resurrected on the third day,” Stan replied, “Peter had not been who he should have been in his relationship with Jesus.”
Continuing, he said, “Peter had slept in the Garden of Gethsemane while Jesus had asked him to watch. Peter went on to deny that he even knew Jesus. And Peter fled when the going got tough. After Jesus was resurrected, He spent some time talking with Peter. What Jesus did not ask Peter is vitally important to me regarding resolutions that concern faithfulness and obedience to God.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“Jesus did not ask Peter why he had slept, why he denied even knowing Him, why Peter fled, or whether Peter was going to resolve to do better. No, Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him. Plain and simple. He asks me the same thing. My answer to that question is what determines all I am and all I do in my relationship with Him.”
“For me,” Stan concluded, “it is not a matter of resolving to be more faithful or more obedient, it is a matter of loving Jesus. Faithfulness and obedience will flow from that love.”
“Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” John 21:17.
If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. John 14:15.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for loving me. Thank you that you want me to love you more than all else combined, knowing that if I so love you, I will be who and what you intend. I confess that too often I love not as you want or intend, but as I choose to love apart from you. Please forgive me. Please fill me with the first fruit of your Spirit so I love you as fully and as completely as is possible, knowing that my love for you will lead me in being faithful and obedient. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.