“Religion is a work of soberness, of thought, of calm and fixed purpose, and no man can properly enter on it who does not resolve by the grace of God to fulfill (sic) all its requirements and make it the business of his life.”
The above quote about discipleship in Luke 14:32 is a stirring concept. As disciples we must resolve to make our pursuit one of humility and, at the same time, one of noble purpose.
In this column, humor me as I present some worthwhile resolutions for the new year. These are rewrites of resolutions that I have suggested to worship leaders – and now I share them with you:
Have a daily time with the Master
If I am found successful in life, in family, in marriage and in my ministry; I owe it to one thing – I have an active time with the Master every morning. I heard John Marshall of Second Baptist, Springfield talk about Dr. Albert Schweitzer who stayed so exhausted that he would stick his feet in a bucket of ice water while he read Scriptures so he wouldn’t fall asleep. May we hunger for the Word that much.
Never say a negative thing
about your spouse in public
Years ago, at the prompting of a senior pastor, I made a decision and a vow to my wife. I vowed to keep her name safe on my lips. She vowed the same to me. I cannot tell you how this has helped our relationship. I travel a lot and my wife, Kimberly, knows this one thing – when her name is mentioned, it is mentioned in honor and love.
Never say a negative thing about your pastor.
I thank God for wise counsel from others years ago. If you decide to make this vow, tell your pastor – there is a great blessing in blessing God’s anointed in your church. Also remember this, your pastor and his family are constantly in the crosshairs of the enemy. Pray for their protection.
Men, when you are present, try to make sure your wife never has to touch the car door handle.
More than a game, make this a mindset in your life in loving your wife as Christ loved the church. It will also set a tone of honor for others to follow. I am not the family specialist – but I can think of no better way to parent than to model how you should treat your spouse.
If you know me, you know that I am a ‘husky’ guy (that’s what mom always called it). However, if I didn’t exercise, I would be an obese guy. According to GuideStone, the Southern Baptist Convention is the most overweight denomination in the world! A dear friend who has been losing weight told me recently, “I want to extend my days of ministry, not enlarge my territory.” Listen, I can’t stand the ‘Bow-Flex’ guys either – and I do make fun of the ‘49-year-old rock star’ commercial (please hold for quiet repentance) but, let’s stay in this for the long haul for our ministry and our families.
This is also part of an honorable relationship because your body belongs to your spouse, and with that, men listen to me – When your wife tells you to go to the doctor, you are sinning against her if you don’t (ladies vice versa).
I pray that this New Year is filled with a blessing from the Lord, that you will be encouraged, and that HE will be exalted.
(John Francis is the worship specialist for the Missouri Baptist Convention and produces MoWorship, a monthly worship podcast available at www.mobaptist.org/worship.)