Once more we have been brought to the beginning of a new year, and as this time of the year comes nigh we begin to think of: What shall we resolve to do this year? And I ask you this question, dear reader. Let us look and see what the word Resolve or Resolution means, literally, as we use it in everyday life. Our dictionary tells us that a resolution is an act of deciding or determining upon something that is outstanding.

We can make numerous resolu­tions which although we mean well with, end up with little value to us, for we take no conscientious effort to uphold them throughout the whole year. For as we some­times say as students: I am going to resolve to study my lessons every day, or as society members of our young people’s society re­solve to make better preparation for the lessons discussed and hope to take an active interest in our societies. These resolutions, though they are mighty in boast, usually fade away and we forget our re­solutions that were made in all earnestness at the beginning of the year. We must and should at our age realize the importance of these resolutions and should carry them in our minds, making sure we hold fast to the truths and beliefs we think are right, for we are held accountable for them, even when we just set out to do them. Let us make these resolutions in the strength of our covenant God and ask Him for guidance in expediting them in our life.

I quote Exodus 40:2: “On the first day of the first month shalt thou set up the tabernacle.” As the new year begins now, also you and I might safely rear our taber­nacles in the shape of resolutions, taken in the fear of that same cove­nant God. Also in II Chronicles 29:17 we read: “Now they began on the first day of the first month to sanctify”. We may also begin our new year in this way. Let us make a self-inspection, remember­ing our faults and weaknesses and try to live conscientiously in bet­ter service to Him. A resolution of this kind lived up to and done in the strength of our God would mean to have a hearty desire at all times to live closer to our cove­nant God, to begin the year with determination to abandon what­ever appears sinful, for the law of God demands this of us. If the evil course tries to solicit us in its way, let it plead in vain. Our Saviour says: “If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee: for it is better for thee that one of thy members per­ish, and not thy whole body be cast into hell.”

We might begin the year with a growing concern to be useful. Look at our conditions, our re­sources, our opportunities in the field of the glorification of our God. How can we glorify God and pro­mote the welfare of our fellow crea­tures? Are there not missionaries to support? Are there no poor to relieve? No widows and father­less to visit? Let us deal faithfully with our own hearts, not compar­ing ourselves with others. It is your and my duty to seek these things, for it is these things that we will do in our hearty consecra­tion to the things of the kingdom.

Let us begin the year with more Christian conduct in the arrange­ment of our affairs. God has said, let everything be done decently and in order. Much comfort will be derived from regularity in our de­votions, and our calling, and our piety will be aided. And more Christian conduct in the fear and respect of the name of our Lord, for in this day of fast living it is rapidly becoming a part of every­day life. Men and women alike have become accustomed to the fast and easy life the world today offers. The stand of a Christian is a diffi­cult one already. We must resolve to live a closer life dedicated to the fear of the Lord, casting off the world; to live in closer com­munion with our God through prayer and the reading of the Holy Word the Lord has given us.

And let us finally resolve to re­deem our time. In this day and age of fast living, time is the all important factor, on it our life de­pends. It is an all important time, upon every instant eternity de­pends. It will not allow of our trif­ling away any of its moments. Gather up the fragments that noth­ing be lost. Looking at ourselves do we not find that some moments could be spent in more conscien­tious learning of the things that pertain to the kingdom of God. Do we realize that the time is close at hand and we live with many short­comings.

Let us also remember that it is not of ourselves that we can strive to do these things. It must be a growing concern of ours that we put our trust in our heavenly Father, for it is through Him that we can do them. Let us prayer­fully go to God’s throne of grace and ask Him to guide us through this coming year.

The book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon to his young adult son. Solomon’s purpose in writing Proverbs was “that the generation to come might know them [God’s wonderful works]…that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (Ps. 78:6–7). Throughout the book, Solomon […]

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The Christian is placed in many different circumstances while on this earth. Some are characterized by hardships and trials, and others are full of joy and peace. How should the Christian respond? Throughout the Bible there are numerous times where God’s people sang in response to their various circumstances. Singing in response to God’s ordering […]

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The group of churches that John writes to in this trio of epistles had recently experienced a split because of doctrinal controversy. We do not know the exact content of the error that these false teachers were spreading, but it is apparent from John’s writing that their teaching somehow denied the truth of the incarnation—that […]

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Jael: An Example of Christian Warfare

This article was originally presented as a speech at a Protestant Reformed mini convention held at Quaker Haven Camp in August 2021. Jael lived during the era of the judges. Deborah the prophetess was the judge who served Israel at the time of Jael. During this time, the Canaanites under the rule of king Jabin […]

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Indiana Mini Convention Review 2021

One of this year’s “mini conventions” was hosted by Grace and Grandville Protestant Reformed Churches at Quaker Haven Camp. Located just over two hours away in northern Indiana, the camp was a perfect fit for the 120 kids and 15 chaperones who attended. A total of twelve different churches were represented: Byron Center, Faith, First […]

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Editorial, November 2021: Catechism Season

At the point that this edition of Beacon Lights arrives in the homes of our subscribers, most young people in the Protestant Reformed Churches will have been sitting under the catechism instruction of their pastor or elders for more than a month. If our readers are honest, that observation probably comes with a (quiet) sigh […]

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