By Michael Kelley
Here we are, the first week of the new year. And because we are, most of us are considering resolutions. There are the standard promises of weight loss, gym membership, more reading, and a host of others. Chances are, you’ve made one of these resolutions before. Maybe it worked out, and maybe it didn’t. If it didn’t work out, then perhaps you’re redoubling your efforts this year. Maybe you have some kind of plan that will make this year different. And maybe, because you do, you are repeating the same resolution you’ve done before.
Maybe it will work after all. But if you’re a Christian, there is one resolution you should indeed repeat over and over again. There is one thing you need this year as much as you did last. There is one thing that you didn’t graduate and move on to something else from:
Preach the gospel this year.
Preach it to yourself and preach it to others. Preach it to the Christian and non-Christian, to the one who has believed for decades and to the one that is still considering. Tell the old, old story of a Savior who came from glory, and gave His life on calvary to save a wretch like me. Do it again.
And when we’ve done it for a year, we turn around and do it again.
It’s for the child and the adult, for the student and the retiree. Preach the gospel both inside and outside yourself. Take these words from the Apostle Paul to heart at the first of this year:
Now brothers, I want to clarify for you the gospel I proclaimed to you; you received it and have taken your stand on it. You are also saved by it, if you hold to the message I proclaimed to you—unless you believed for no purpose. For I passed on to you as most important what I also received… (1 Corinthians 15:1-3).
Before Paul goes on to articulate the core tenets of the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ, that which is indeed most important, notice a key word in verse 1:
These people were not pagans. These people were not outside the faith. These were brothers and sisters in the Lord, and yet Paul did the thing he did when they were still dead in their sin: He preached the gospel to them. That’s because, as he articulates, this is the message we have taken our stand on and are being saved by, right now. This is the message we need to hear in 2019 just like we did in 2018. This is what’s most important for our forgetful hearts and lethargic souls.
Make a resolution, then, but let it be a lasting. Resolve to do the same thing you did yesterday and then to it again tomorrow. Preach the gospel over and over again until faith becomes sight.
Michael Kelley is the Director of Groups Ministry at LifeWay and author of Boring: Finding an Extraordinary God in an Ordinary Life