It is the beginning of the new year and a time, undoubtedly, when we all make resolutions to do this thing or that thing better this year. I was reading scripture in the New Testament this afternoon and came upon a certain verse which says “Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?” This verse is found in the 15th chapter of Acts, verse 10. Peter wasn’t asking about the ridiculousness of new years resolutions of course, but I had to laugh as I read the verse because off an on throughout the day my mind had been going over thoughts of what I hoped to accomplish this year.
Quite often, especially when it comes to being a Christian, I have a habit of putting too many yokes upon my neck all on my own, but worse yet, I have an equally bad habit of letting others put yokes upon me as well. I don’t care too much about the questions of whether or not my theology is correct because I know none of us can be completely sure on this side of heaven, but I do care when yokes put upon me question my salvation or my total belief in Jesus Christ as my LORD and Savior. I care, too, about the yokes of unforgiveness, gossip, and ill-will spread amongst brethren all in the name of furthering the Kingdom. Those are yokes that hurt deeply.
Our convention is facing many dilemmas. Discussions and discourses abound. Verses of reformation are in the air. But, unfortunately, so is hot-headedness, and personal politics. I sometimes want to just sit and cry over the turmoil I read about between believers within our group, within my own family. Sadly, our conversations turn towards which theologian had the right view rather than focusing on the ultimate source of our beliefs, Jesus Christ. As this new year dawns may we prayerfully seek to keep our minds and hearts focused on the Christ who brought us the gift of salvation and LIFE EVERLASTING nearly 2000 years ago. Let us not place yokes around our necks that we are not able to bear. May we have patience with one another, and may we love each other with such a strong love that we are willing to lay down our own wants and desires to be a convention that brings Glory to God each and every day this year.