Sad, but true, most of us make resolutions to change our lives in some way or another, only to fall victim to the same bad habits within a day or two. In some ways, it’s kind of like our relationship with God. With every day, we come to Him and ask forgiveness for our sins and within a short time we’ve sinned again.
Is it part of our human makeup to break our promises? Do we sincerely repent in one minute and within the next, we’re right back at it with a vengeance?
Paul, the apostle of Christ, knew this was a problem for all of us. This man, who once was a devout Jew on the warpath for all those who followed Jesus, became a follower himself. His acts of terror towards Christians was well known across the land. After spending 3 years being educated by the One he was persecuting, he knew that our human behavior is coated with sin – that original sin, passed down from the time of man’s fall from God.
In Romans 7:19 he talks about this failure to do good. It’s that flaw in our human character.
“For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.”
Alone, we are incapable of doing any good. Even though our sins have been forgiven – once for all – by the blood of Christ – we daily need to come to God with repentant hearts to be reminded that our sins are forgiven. I think, for most of us, it is hardest for us to forgive ourselves. God paid the ransom, yet we still need the reassurance that we have been made right with Him.
God has provided the way out for us through Jesus’ death and resurrection. This gives us a gigantic hope for the future – a future of eternity in paradise. We also know that we can come directly to God, confess our sins and be assured that they’ve already been forgiven.
We are human beings, just like Paul was. As hard as we try, there is nothing we can do to personally achieve salvation. God, in His unconditional love for us, makes it possible.
So maybe you’ve already broken one of your resolutions to do better this year. I don’t even bother making them anymore, because I know I won’t keep them. But isn’t it great to know that we have the King of grace and mercy walking right beside us, every minute of every day?