Should We Make New Year Resolutions?
GWEA Monthly Message - January 2022
REVEREND GORDON WILLIAMS
Welcome to 2022! We have just had another wondrous year of Salvations, Baptisms of the Holy Spirit, healings, deliverances and people equipped with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit many thanks to those of you who have been faithful to support our ministry with prayer and donations. People no longer need to travel great distances across Canada, the U.S.A or other countries to receive ministry – and ministry which is not available in their own communities. They can remain in the comfort of their own homes and simply connect through the internet and join our weekly Zoom Worship meetings. We praise God for the amazing Holy Spirit ministry that we’ve been able to have this past year through our Zoom meetings, by Phone, our Facebook Prayer Page, our Web Site, and by Email. The GWEA ministry just continues to flourish as the Holy Spirit opens the door for new possibilities. He builds up and edifies the body of Christ (Eph. 4:11-16) and will use whatever means is available to do so (Isa. 43:19; Matt. 19:26).
Once I watched an on-the-street TV reporter ask people if they planned to make any New Year resolutions. Everyone who was interviewed said, “yes” but then openly admitted that they always failed in being able to keep them. A “resolution” is a plan, promise or oath to change - it’s about people trying to improve and bettering themselves by doing good things or stopping the bad ones. A New Year resolution is really making a “vow”, “a solemn promise or pledge by dedicating oneself to an act, service, or way of life”. It is an attempt to “make a deal” with oneself, another person or with God. Marriage is a vow. It’s between a man and a woman promising to be faithful for a lifetime. However, Paul writes about the frustration of making resolutions or vows: “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (Rom. 7:15).
Human nature is not able to keep vows, resolutions, or promises because of its sinfulness. There was a man named Jephthah who “vowed a vow to the LORD” that if God would give him victory over his enemy, the Ammonites, he would make a human sacrifice of the first person who came out of his house when he returned home. The first person who came to meet him was his only child, his daughter, who would not allow him to break his vow (Jud. 11:30-36).
We are warned by God, “When you vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not be slack to pay it: for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee” (Deut. 23:21). “When you vow a vow to God, do not delay in paying it; for He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed. It is better that you should not make a New Year resolution or a vow than you should vow and not pay. Let not your mouth lead you into sin and do not say before the angel that it was a mistake; why should God be angry at your voice, and destroy the work of your hands?” (Eccl. 5:4-6). In other words, God does not like promise keepers who cannot and do not keep promises (vows). Our God does not accept human sacrifices with one exception: Jesus, the one who paid for the sin of the world (Jn. 1:29; 19:30; Heb. 9:26).
Jesus established the New Covenant which is God’s “last will and testament”. He made it possible for us to succeed in accomplishing the purpose for which we were born. He requires us to be “covenant keepers” (Heb. 8:6-10, 13). By means of the New Covenant, we can have our sins forgiven (Jn. 1:9) and have what Jesus describes as being “born again of water and the Spirit” (Jn. 3:5). This means the full Salvation package, including the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8) with tongues, the proof that we have received (Mk. 16:17-18). Once we have the evidence and proof that we have received, we are equipped to do the ministry of Jesus Christ using the Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 12:6-8; 1 Cor. 12:8-10).
Today there are many people who have been told that they have received the Holy Spirit when they have not. As a result, there is no victory in their lives; they live their lives in defeat. There is only one place in the New Testament where people receive the Holy Spirit when they first believed. That was in Acts chapter 10, verses 44 to 46. In all other places, Salvation and receiving the Holy Spirit are two separate experiences (Acts 2:4; 8:14-17; 9:17-18; 19:1-7).
If you, and/or a family member, friend, co-worker, acquaintance, etc. want to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, I invite you to come to one of our weekly "Holy Spirit" Zoom Meetings or contact me. With the Holy Spirit guiding us, we can be successful and succeed in doing everything that Jesus has planned for us. During 2022, help us to show others the way to Heaven! Happy New Year and help us to revive 2022! to receive like the first disciples did on the Day of Pentecost!
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