by Jon Walker
(This devotional is by Jon Walker, editor of the Daily Hope Devotionals and author of Costly Grace: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer's 'The Cost of Discipleship.')
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2 (NIV)
Today you may be thinking about New Year's resolutions? You know, those lists we make with two scoops of optimistic enthusiasm, sprinkled with unrealistic expectations, and topped with the cherry of knowing the list isn't serious anyway.
But there is one guy who I suspect played for keeps when he made New Year's resolutions -- that zealot who could never do anything halfway, the let's-get-real-about-our-faith apostle Paul.
My thought is Paul only had one resolution on his New Year's list: "This year I resolve to know nothing but Christ and him crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:2).
Paul's message is radically simple: Salvation is in Christ alone. What does this mean?
It's not Christ plus your good behavior.
It's not Christ plus the years you taught a Bible study.
It's not Christ plus your tithe.
It's not Christ plus the church you attend.
It's not Christ plus the number of verses you memorize.
It's not Christ plus your title in the church.
It's not Christ plus wisdom from the latest Christian seminar.
It's not Christ plus a desert fast (or even a dessert fast!).
It's not Christ plus a good driving record.
It's not Christ plus well-behaved children.
It's not Christ plus the right job.
It's not Christ plus the right spouse.
It's not Christ plus the latest technology.
It's simply Christ. Christ plus nothing.
That's Paul's message, a message that is as right throughout 2011 as it will be in 2999. May your resolution for this year be nothing but Christ and Him crucified.