Posted by: rcottrill | October 31, 2011

I Am Resolved

Words: Palmer Hartsough (b. May 7, 1844; d. Oct. 24, 1932)
Music: James Henry Filmore, Sr. (b. June 1, 1849; d. Feb. 8, 1936)

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal

To “resolve” is to come to a firm and definite decision, to strongly determine to do something. It’s the opposite of doubtful hesitation, and of wavering indecision. The distinction brings to mind the prophet’s challenge on Mount Carmel:

“Elijah came to all the people, and said, ‘How long will you falter [waver] between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.’ But the people answered him not a word” (I Kgs. 18:21).

As James puts it, the doubled-minded man is “unstable in all his ways” (Jas. 1:8). If you can’t decide which path to follow, or you’re constantly trying to hop back and forth between two different paths, it’ll affect all you do. You’ll be constantly second-guessing yourself, and others will find you unreliable. It’s no way to live! Certainly not when it comes to things that determine our eternal destiny.

Of course, many make resolutions and do not keep them (witness the proverbial “New Year’s Resolutions”). But when, as sinners we trust in Christ for salvation, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within, giving us the power to maintain a Christian walk. We may falter and stumble at times, but it is always possible to seek God’s forgiveness (I Jn. 1:9), and take up our walk again.

In terms of our commitment to God and His Word, a clear-cut choice is called for. As John puts it, “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (I Jn. 2:15). There’s no in between. The same thing is seen in Jesus description of the narrow way and the broad way (Matt. 7:13-14). In the stirring words of Joshua, “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve….But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Josh. 24:15). Choose! Decide! (And not to decide…is to decide!)

CH-1) I am resolved no longer to linger,
Charmed by the world’s delight,
Things that are higher, things that are nobler,
These have allured my sight.

I will hasten to Him, hasten so glad and free;
Jesus, greatest, highest, I will come to Thee.
I will hasten, hasten to Him, hasten so glad and free;
Jesus, Jesus, greatest, highest, I will come to Thee.

That decision relates first of all to the sinner coming to Christ for salvation. “He hath the words of life,” says Hartsough (CH-2), alluding to the conversation of the Lord Jesus with Peter (Jn. 6:66-69). Then, for the Christian, there’s the ongoing commitment to “follow the Saviour, faithful and true each day” (CH-3). And what does that involve? “Heed what He sayeth, do what He willeth,” says the author. And there’s a recognition that this journey will involve opposition: “Friends may oppose me, foes may beset me” (CH-4).

Finally, Palmer Hartsough issues a summons to others. And the resources for the Christian walk are aptly described in one line: “Taught by the Bible, led by the Spirit.” That sums it up nicely. The Word of God is a light to our path (Ps. 119:105), and the Spirit of guides and directs our steps, empowering us to resist temptation and to serve the Lord (Rom. 8:14; cf. Gal. 5:16, 25).

5) I am resolved, and who will go with me?
Come, friends, without delay,
Taught by the Bible, led by the Spirit,
We’ll walk the heav’nly way.

1) What are your primary resolutions, the things you are determined to do, by the grace of God?

2) What are you doing to encourage and enlist others to go with you in following Christ?

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal


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