Begin class time discussing the meaning of a resolution—the root word, "resolute," means determined, firm, purposeful, strong-willed, courageously steadfast. Then play
the Resolutions Game, below.
When people make New Year's resolutions they are stating firm promises to accomplish something good in their lives. New Year's resolutions are sometimes just silly fun, like promising to never eat Brussel Sprouts, which was never part of their diet anyway! Most times resolutions are more meaningful, such as promising to quit a sinful habit to improve your health, or to control your tongue so as not to hurt or offend others, or to do something helpful for others. But, more often than not, New Year's Resolutions are not easily kept. So what's wrong? Why is it so difficult to make and keep our promises to do better for ourselves and others?
If you're not a child of God, changing sinful habits is very difficult, if not impossible. Start the New Year out right, ask Jesus to forgive your sins, and help you to turn from them. Invite Jesus into your life to be your Savior and Forever Friend. By doing this, the Holy Spirit will give you the power to become more and more like Jesus.
"If you're not a child of God, changing sinful habits is very difficult, if not impossible."
But when you are a child of God, you don't have to go it alone. You need to recognize your sin and ask God to forgive you. And if you've offended another person, then you must ask for his or her forgiveness too. The Scriptures say, "God is faithful and reliable. If we confess our sins, he forgives them and cleanses us from everything we've done wrong" 1 John 1:9 (GW).
This verse is a wonderful promise, a firm resolution from God for the New Year; we can start with a clean slate, with no score held against us!
The Scriptures also say, "I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13 (GW). This is the second wonderful promise to begin the New Year. Notice this verse doesn't say, "I can do everything through me, myself, and I!" No, it reminds us that it is God who gives us the strength and the ability to change. We must ask God to help us!
And finally, even when we fail to live up to the promises we make, God doesn't give up on us. The Scriptures say, ". . . he who began this good work in you, will carry it through to completion on the day of Christ Jesus" Philippians 1:6 (GW).
These are only a few of the promises that God has made to his children, to those who belong to him. There are thousands more in his Word. So one of the best New Year's Resolutions we can make is to read the Bible everyday. If we do this, we will discover God's resolutions for us—his firm promises for his children!
1) What positive resolutions can you make for the coming year?
2) How can you use your mind, body, and creativity in service to God and to the people you know?
Prayer: Dear God, may the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you this year! (Read Psalm 19:14)
Play the Resolutions Game
For 4th grade and up. (Adapted from an SSTN Newsletter submission.)
What You Need: Index cards, pencils, small box.
How to Play: Give children a card and pencil to write down a New Year's resolution. Collect the cards and place them in a small box. Have children draw out a card and then attempt to guess who the card belongs to. After matching everyone correctly, assign prayer partners to pray in the New Year and for the successfulness of their partner's New Year's resolution.
Copyright 2015 Sarah A. Keith
Start the New Year off right with a positive mindset: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13. Download our colorful and inspirational "I Think I Can..." digital poster from our Etsy platform.