Jesus did not make resolutions (intent, plan, pledge), but declarations (pronouncement, proclamation, edict); and one of His most ardent one is declared in Matt. 10:34; where He proclaims a "sword", used as a metaphor to separate, distinguish and divide. He wasn't working towards this but would be establishing it. As Christians, if we are the same at the end of the year, with no accomplishments (personal or otherwise, especially within the Christian context) or no new goals for the next year, we are no different than the world and we should reflect on ourselves, on having the Mind of Christ. A few questions to test this is; do you sit in the same spot (area) in your church every Sunday; do you check your watch to see if the pastor is keeping within the allotted time for service and has your influence within your circles improved or remained the same. Probably, the most important standard of measurement in your walk for Christ is how bolder you are about your Faith. Jesus was active, proactive and never missed an opportunity to speak/demonstrate the Word and Love of God.

The Christian’s mission is to become a “soul winner” for Christ and can only do this by declaring what God has already stated and Jesus demonstrated. Nothing will change or improve without discipline, sacrifice, and boldness. These things go against every norm of the world, especially for the religious Christian. That Christians should be compliant, quiet and obedient to every authority. To be as Christ was; the lamb that was slain. That season has passed over two thousand years ago and started the current season we are in of the resurrected Christ; Name above all names and Lord of the day and light. Jesus, the Word had to contain His true nature prior to the cross, but every once in awhile His true nature was revealed to the humiliation and surprise of those who challenged and surrounded Him daily. This season is the uncompromising Word, manifested Glory and Truth of the Kingdom. How do we know this? Never in the church’s history has it been more under attack for its identity, relevance, and Righteousness from not only anti-christ establishments but political partisan quarters, with satan seeking to crumble core foundational teachings and declarations starting from Genesis.

God makes declarations and is resolute to see them through. If God did not do this; our Faith would hold no standard and ultimately chaos would reign. All Christians should make declarations at the beginning and during of a new season as the Bible and the Word demonstrates, for when we do this especially to be in line with God’s declaration for these seasons; we automatically become Kingdom partakers for the different seasons of that age. As Christians, we must understand and appreciate that new year declarations has the power to mature our Christian walk producing in us the Christ-like qualities we are all to work towards, the evidence of which will show up as long as we do not lose the vision of it as stated, “will reap a harvest if we faint not” - Gal. 6:9; and is keeping in line with Paul’s very own declaration to renew our minds from the flesh to the Spirit - Rm. 12:2.

The treasure that is in your heart will produce the harvest of your sowing - Lk. 6:45. Here the word treasure is not procession as in physical things but is the attribute of a person’s character. If the core is rotten so will be the outer parts of the seed and the same for a good core. The metaphor for this is seen in the reality that every fruit produced are not identical and so is our harvest based on the quality, ground, and management of our fields. Depending on the quality of a Righteous attitude, declaration and discipline resolve; we automatically limit or increase our harvest for today, tomorrow and future seasons. It all starts with the declarations of our words and from a Righteous heart.

As one year comes to an end, tradition dictates that we ring in the New Year and make wishes, resolutions, and promises that eventually fade away as they are made without a solid foundation or commitment to a quality change and a vision for that change or improvement. Many go through this tradition without realizing that unfulfilled words and statements are an indication of one’s resolve, stamina, and tenacity to the things of life. For most of us, we will be resetting the goals made at the beginning of the previous year if any at all; whether these goals were to lose weight or some other desire. For the most part, we go through the motions not really expecting much to change or planning and implementing a procedure to achieve the desires and changes which are usually for self or family improvement. It is these traditions that keep us all comfortable and participating enough not to have eyebrows raised or make an impact on those around us. Traditions are good to give stability, reference, and history, but tends to fall short on progress and improvements. It can be looked on as a basis for insanity; doing the same thing, expecting different results. It will and generally does not work. Now, there are those who make these types of resolutions but are really declaring, because they put the required effort, passion and commitment behind their goals to achieve them. God is a perfect example of this.

Spiritual Awakening

The Christian today should be one of activism and not just charity. Now, to be clear; good works are onto Godliness and the Word declares that the less fortunate is the Christian responsibility and yet compared to losing Christ it does not compare as stated, “the poor you will have always with you, but you will not have Me (Christ) always” - Matt. 26:11. A declaration by Jesus that has a lot more prominence and value to the world today than when it was originally stated. The type of activism required today is the same as in Jesus’ day. To declare God’s Words in every avenue and media as possible. The most Righteous place for these declarations is in the homes of the body of Christ. For it is here that Christ has to be completely established for all other platforms to be truly effective. When Christ is absolute in the family then there will be no strife and every evil work; then and only then as a single body the family can operate with all unison to meet the challenges that today’s churches face. Some may say that despite the strife in their family, many good things are accomplished in their church. We cannot deny the move of the Holy Spirit where there are places for Him to manifest God and Christ. But these type of church victory is what satan has weaved to be a consolation to many of the body. It is also why some family members of a Christian family are outside the Faith; because satan is wedging darkness within the family to restrain the power of Christ and His Glory from complete manifestations and why we find that it is common for pastor’s to have this type of family challenge. It is a distraction that many have to constantly tend to, so as to pacify discontentment. Some Christians even declaring, “What can you do and that’s just life”. Another lie by satan.

We declare what God and Jesus declared. God says, “My thoughts towards (all) is for peace and prosperity” - Jer. 29:11 and Jesus declared, “Nothing is impossible to God and to those who believe in Him” - Lk. 1:37. To begin declaring we must first, “check from the neck up”; and where this is an intelligent observation; in actuality, “we must check from the soles of our feet to the top of our heads and all around us”. We must ensure the limitation of the world in our environments and be single minded in our Christian walk. If the physical building is a representation of Christianity but demonstrates confusion by the mixing of Faith and worldly things, then more should not only our body, mind and spirit be, but also our very homes. For you are, “the temple of God” - 1 Cor. 3:16; and “to have always a conscience void of offense toward God, and toward men” - Act 24:16. If the core is Righteous (individuals) then will the outer shell (church) be. Recently, because of tradition and the fear to keep a congregation content; a pastor held an “ugly sweater competition”. So many of that church wore the worst sweater they could find or create all in fun. The pastor wore a simple sweater and preached the Word with the words clearly seen to all, “Papa Elf” on the front of the sweater. Innocent enough some say. But as a pastor who is Christ’s first ambassador for the Faith, Word and Kingdom only left the impression that an “elf” is acceptable on the body and in the building of Anointing, Salvation, and Grace. What is an elf, but an association of “a supernatural creature of folk tales, typically represented as a small, elusive figure in human form with pointed ears, magical powers, and a capricious nature”. All descriptions of satan's character. It is the very nature of things the Bible admonishes the Faithful against. This is neither Christ nor His Kingdom. We must not let tradition and merriment cloud or take away the core essentials and the Righteous representations of the Faith but by declaring with words, actions and environments that which is acceptable before the Throne of God.

Flush it Out! - Don't just make the finish line, but vigorously cross it!

Like all declarations, it is helpful to surround yourself with a mentor, coach, to guide and support your commitment. This is part of being empowered; not thinking one can do it on one's own strength. Jesus stated the perfect person to do this, the Holy Spirit (Matt. 10:20; John 15:23; Luke 11:13); who has direct access to God Himself. So if you intend to make resolutions instead of declarations, be mindful the former keeps you a part of the crowd as does tradition, while the latter separates and brings the Victories the Bible and Faith assures.

As this age comes to its planned end and like many who start their resolutions with all good intentions, but then things do not pan out as hoped for; tending to surrender, give up and forget the renewed hope for change; thinking it’s too late to do something meaningful. They have to have the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding that nothing that is done with a heart ever goes to waste and this is the main benefit of the law of sowing and reaping. A single seed planted in an acre of field has the potential to multiply into a harvest of that seed. We should never dig up the Righteous seeds we have planted by wrong attitudes, words and actions but with patience, expectations, and even long-suffering wait for the assured harvest that must be produced from the good seeds we sowed. God declared by Word in the beginning that Jesus would come and through the Old Testament others reiterated this by “watering” those Words of God with the full expectation that eventually Jesus would manifest. The rest is history and the greatest miracle and declaration for those of the Faith was born, lived, died and is resurrected. Jesus Christ; a perpetual seed of life and abundance; the first of many.

To be resolute is to work towards while making a declaration is to establish something. The former tend to have no end date and is temporal with the latter setting a final and critical date to be permanent. A practical example to be resolute is when the thirteen colonies fought for independence from the British Empire and then declared independence with the “Declaration of Independence” stating, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. True and Righteous declarations usually carry with them an infinite time line, humility and is holistic in nature. When God declares it is simple, non-rhetoric and far-reaching and usually captures the essentials within a single word such as with the word, “Shalom”. This declaration on the surface is “peace” but is deep and multifaceted within its many layers right down to its core. To declare is like being prophetic about the future where hearing fuels Faith for the desired outcome. We are stewards of the fields given to us and God is the maker of the harvest, based on what we have given Him to work with and to produce it. God gave us the perfect example of declaring His intent, love, and care with Jesus which is our perfect example of being stewards of the Kingdom.

Change first starts in our mind, and having the Mind of Christ (God's/Jesus' ways of doing things), ultimately means we are to develop and apply His abilities/anointing when He walked the earth for we already have them (Eph. 1:3). Christ in three years of ministry demonstrated the embodiment of Christianity. He gave us the examples, belief, and authority and foretold by declaring in John 14:12; we will do "greater works" than He did. We have been given the same anointing (skills, abilities) as Jesus.

January 1, 2017.

 
A New Season.

Now to be clear, there is more than what's outlined here and being committed to Godly positive changes in our life is ultimately in our hands and no one else. One of our first declaration should be is to "Seek the Kingdom" wholeheartedly, and not just rely on Sunday's 30 minute bible summaries, and by energizing ourselves to be curious, dedicated and committed to know God's word and walk by Faith in it, all the while making declarations to have the "Mind of Christ".

For God, there are no New Year resolutions but a continuous commitment to His Word and His Kingdom promises. God does not measure time as we do but has one fluid timeline where the past, present and future are under His jurisdiction and control. This is very evident in the Bible with examples like the sun and moon standing still for God’s purpose - Jos. 10:13. The sun and moon were created by God for, “signs, seasons, days and years” - Gen. 1:14-16. When we put this declaration and the two great lights held still after Genesis; the conclusion is time is relative in the firmaments of Heaven but by carnal standards time is “marching on, never to turn back or slow down”. There is truth in this but only because man has not come to the full knowledge of how God views history. In simple terms, God’s view of history is not something that has passed as man does but is a season as a farmer views his fields. The seeds planted in this year’s season, although produces a harvest this cycle (time) can and will produce other harvests in subsequent seasons, even years after the first sowing was done. So what you do today, can and will be reaped by you today, and in days, years from now. The concept of seasons is both chronological as well as “folding” as science view time in space. Psalms 19:1 exalts this saying, “The Heavens declare the Glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork”; both the majesty and order, working of God. This knowledge of seasons is also reflected in the New Testament saying, “brought forth fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold - Matt. 13:8. Well, every farmer will tell you they cannot control their harvest to the precise number and time, but based on the quality of the season; the harvest varies. In other words, how good is the ground and conditions that the seed is sowed. But what is sure, without manmade interferes some seeds are dormant until another season adding to the harvest and meeting above average expectations. You cannot sow without reaping and this law whether it is understood or appreciated will work as it has been ordained to work. God works smart and leverages natural (ordained) laws and the heart of men to accomplish His will. The man controls his harvest based on what’s in his heart.

These and other attributes of His Life reflects on who and whose we are to declare God's will whether at home, work, church, play or ministries. Jesus had to be committed (a declaration) and implement (belief to accomplish the declaration) God's purpose to draw people to Him and ultimately point them to the Father and to drive the wedge between failure/compromise and winning/victory; (Matt. 5:16, 45; Matt. 10:20; John 14:9). Jesus had an earthly Spiritual mission and His implementation was at the physical level but not limited to it. In other words, nothing Spiritually was accomplished without first addressing physical issues and manifesting solutions that resolved and paved the way for hope, belief, and conviction and for others to duplicate. His purpose was not to overpower us with a show of God's awesome abilities, thus making Victory seem unattainable for us. What He demonstrated and re-established, is that Christians, in our current physical state have access to Spiritual skills/abilities/gifts just as Jesus to impact our environment, the world; through Victory after Victory. We just need to put in practice all He taught and establish the Kingdom through Faith, Grace, and the Word.

Christians are to rid themselves of all the lies and deceptions of satan since Adam fell and come to the realization that once Jesus ascended into Heaven; He commissioned us to be the standard for all aspects of the human body, mind, and spirit. Jesus, after commissioned by God by the Anointing, disciplined His mind, body, and spirit by fasting for forty days in the wilderness; and through His ministry kept His abilities through prayer, meditation, knowledge and the Holy Spirit. We have 365 days to discipline, declare and apply the measure of Faith.