(Reprinted with permission of Henry Neufeld, 12/29/05)
5What is mankind that you remember them?
Or human beings that you pay attention to them?
6But you made them a little lower than God,
And crowned them with glory and honor.
7You made them rule over the works of your hands.
You put everything under their feet.Â Psalm 8:5-7 (TFBV)
4Now when the time was fully right, God sent his son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5So he could ransom those who were under the law so they could be adopted as children. 6Now because you are children, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts with the cry, “Abba, Father!” 7So that you are no longer a slave, but a child, and if you are a child, you are also an heir through God.Â Galatians 4:4-7 (TFBV)
Itâ€™s coming up on New Yearâ€™s Day, and many of us will be making some resolutions.Â Some of those will mean a change in our lives.Â Others will be forgotten within days, or perhaps even within hours.Â I think the practice of making resolutions is, on balance, a good one.Â Times of commemoration and renewal are good for us, though it might be better if we had them more often, and were more careful to remember them between.
But the question I want to suggest to you in this last devotional before New Yearâ€™s is this:Â What kind of resolution is appropriate to a child of the king?
While youâ€™re thinking about that, consider something else.Â Tonight, my wife and I were watching â€œCriminal Mindsâ€ on CBS.Â The story was about a kidnapping.Â A father almost eagerly gathers $500,000 as ransom for his daughter so he can buy her back.Â Heâ€™s willing to do anything that the criminal wants, if only he can recover his daughter alive.Â When a ransomed child comes home, she will have a new idea of her value to those who love her.
And thatâ€™s where our second passage comes in.Â We are not only children of the king by birth; we are children of the king by ransom.Â We were separated from our heavenly parent and under the power of an enemy.Â Then God came and got us.Â Think about it.Â He paid a ransom. Heâ€™d already told us how much we were worth (Psalm 8), but later he demonstrated that he really meant it.Â Weâ€™ve had two demonstrations of his loveâ€”he created us and he ransomed us.
Now, what kind of New Yearâ€™s resolution is appropriate to a child of the king?
Some of you are likely thinking things like dedicating your time and resources to Godâ€™s work, spending more time with God, or answering Godâ€™s call in some new way.Â All of these may well be really good things.Â Those may be some things God wants you to do.Â But donâ€™t stop with the things that sound pious.
Youâ€™re a child of the king!Â Youâ€™re the heir of the guy who owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10), not to mention the hills themselves and everything under and over them!Â Shouldnâ€™t that change your thinking?
I think it should!Â Think of resolutions that are appropriate to such an heir.Â Join me in resolving to accomplish more, to set goals in my personal life, business, and ministry that are suitable to what a royal heir would try to set.
Resolve to live like you have â€œall things under your feet!â€
Note from Jody: â€œSee you next year!â€