I Am Determined To No Longer Linger

By Rowland Gbamis | Ontario, Canada

The word determined in dictionary.com is defined as “resolute; staunch; decided; settled; resolved.”[1] The word determined indicates firmly established in one’s decision or course of conduct, especially for achieving a specific objective. A person who is determined has a solid drive to attain their goals. In other words, a determined individual is highly motivated and unlikely to give up or change their viewpoint. The New Testament Greek for the word determined for this lesson is κρίνω (krino), meaning to judge.[2] It connotes the action of judging, resolving,  and deciding. A similar word to our operative word is the word resolve fromWebster’s dictionary, meaning to determine, to settle, to form a purpose or resolution, to determine after reflection, as to resolve on a better course of life. Therefore, Webster describes the word resolution as an act of, or quality of mind admitting or productive of, resolving or determining, resoluteness, firmness; that which is resolved upon or decided upon; firm determination. Consider the following usage of the word Krino in the NT and OT scriptures (Ac 20:16; 25:25; 1Co 2:2 & Ex 21:22; 1Sa 20:7,9,33). Therefore, this discourse focuses on the importance of determination in our Christian journey through 2023.

First, I am determined to be the man God want me to be. Indeed, a closer look at our environment and the church reveal that the world needs faithful, loyal and dedicated fathers who love God and his word. Good dads with godly character and courage to meet the challenges of fatherhood (Eph. 6:4). Is it any coincidence that many fathers who claim to love God and try to walk in the path of righteousness are not in control of their home? What an irony! The simple answer lies in the fact that most fathers refused to be the man God wanted them to be because they did not respect the word of God. As fathers, God has placed us in our various families to be our home’s nourishers, protectors and upholders (1 Tim. 5:8). While we are to be respected by our wives and children, let us endeavour to also regard the word of God by staying at our duty post (Eph. 6:1-3; 5: 22-24; Prov. 19:26; 30:17). We are to be determined to show more love and commitment to our wives and children (Eph. 5: 25-29).

Similarly, as a progenitor that gives life to our children (Gen.5:3), let us be determined and resolved to take hold of the grave responsibility to bring a soul into this world because God will not hold lightly those who shirk in their duties (cf. 1 Sam. 2:22-25, 27-29; 3:13). Thus, may we be determined as fathers to commit to providing for our family their physical provisions (1 Tim. 5:8; 1 Thess. 4: 11-12). Equally important is our responsibility to give spiritual direction to our families (Eph. 6:4). God expects us to lead in training our children. Noah provided leadership by leading his whole family into the ark (Heb. 11:7); Joshua set the standard when he said, “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:15); Concerning Abraham, God said, “I have known him that he will teach his children and his household to follow the Lord’s way, to do justice and righteousness” (Genesis 18:19). What would God said of us? Can He trust us to walk with him through leading our families in his ways, to provide and protect the souls under our oversight? We can achieve our responsibilities as fathers through God’s grace, sacrifice, hard work and dedication. Let us commit to bringing up our children in God’s way by imbibing them with moral character and spiritual interests that spring from our influence and fatherly instruction (Prov. 22:6). May I also submit that the Bible teaches that having both a father and a mother in the household is essential. God formed the home to include a father and a mother (Gen. 2:18–24). He assigned each of them distinct duties for the household to run smoothly and for children to receive the care they require as they grow into adults. Both fathers and mothers must recognize, appreciate, and commit to their roles at home. Otherwise, the house will not be as God intended. 

Second, I am determined to control my tongue. The Psalmist says, “I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress” (17:3). God’s children need to control what they say. We must be resolved to keep quiet whenever we have the urge to say things that do not glorify God. We must be determined, like David, to pray “that the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable before God, our Lord, strength, and redeemer” (19:14). We must resolve that we will watch what we say. The Psalmist says, “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.” (141:3). Because it is easy to sin with our mouth, we must be determined to “put away perversity from our mouths and keep corrupt talk far from our lips” (Prov. 4:24). Sometimes, we speak in haste, saying the wrong thing without thinking. The Bible says, “Do not be quick with your mouth; do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God.” God is in heaven, and you are on earth, so let your words be few. As a dream comes when there are many cares, so does the speech of a fool when there are many words. “Do not let your mouth lead you into sin” (Eccl. 5:2-3, 6). We must realize that what comes from our mouths reflects what is in our hearts (Mk. 7:20–23). To the Ephesians, Paul would say, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what helps build others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen(Eph. 4:29). What about us? It, thus, behoves us to exercise care not to be guilty of filthy talk, gossip, backbiting, grumbling, slander, and tale-bearing. If we took this precept to heart, the Lord’s church and society would be better for it. Significantly, let us resolve with passionate determination not to praise God with our mouths and forget Him in our daily Christian lives. May we not be like those of whom Christ says, “These people draw near to Me with their mouths and honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me.” Also, in vain, they worship Christ, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men (Matt. 15:8–9). Let us watch what we say or alter from our mouths. What a better person we will be in the Lord’s service, and what a more significant influence we will have among our fellow men!

Third, I am determined not to defile myself. As God’s children, the Bible says we are special and unique people (1 Pet. 2:9); what brought about our uniqueness is because of our redemption from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God (Act 26:18). Unfortunately, like a dog returning to his vomit, we sometimes return to our former ways of lives and thereby fall into the peril of not progressing spiritually ( Heb. 5:12-14; cf. 6: 26-39). Critically important is the Lord’s admonition: “Let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God (2 Cor. 7:1-2). The example of Daniel in Babylon is worth emulating. The Bible says, “But Daniel resolved not to defile himself” (Dan.1:8). What a determination! What a resoluteness! To this end, brethren, let us be determined to get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the engrafted word that can save our souls (Jas. 1:21). Whenever we defile ourselves, tarnish our reputations, we bring dishonour on the Lord and His church, thereby subjecting ourselves over to the works of the flesh (Gal. 5: 19-21). Indeed, we must reckon with the word of God that no iniquity shall stand before our God. The Bible says, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us, therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:15-16). Without uprightness, we will find it challenging to approach the throne of God. Hence, we must make every effort to live right. Paul says, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals, nor sodomites,nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.And such were some of you. Nevertheless, you were washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:9-11).

Fourth, I am determined to be a vessel in God’s hands to reach the lost souls. As Paul proclaimed the testimony of God, he said: “For I determined to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). Like Paul, we must resolve that we will preach Christ to the lost world (Matt. 28:19; Mk. 16:15). There are many who believe that to preach Christ is to preach only the facts about Jesus and not his doctrine/teaching. Apostle Paul says, “For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord” (2 Cor. 4:5). Preaching Christ is the same as preaching the word or the gospel. The latter is apparent in Acts 8:4-5: “Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them.” In other words, Philip preached the same thing as those scattered preached. Remarkably, verse 35 of the same chapter reads: “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him.” The significance of this verse is that one cannot preach about Christ in isolation and independent of His word.

Equally noted is that preaching Jesus involves water baptism. Since Philip was preaching on this occasion, it stands to reason that he introduced the matter of baptism because the Ethiopians asked about being baptized as soon as they came to sufficient water. Thus, preaching Jesus, a part of which is preaching water baptism, is preaching salvation to lost souls. We know this to be true because Jesus died to save lost souls, shedding His precious blood on a Roman cross, that blood we contact in the water of baptism (Rom. 6:3-4). It is no small thing that Jesus commanded baptism for humankind to be saved (Mk. 16:15-16; Lk. 24:46-47; Acts 2:5,36-38). The only way the church will grow numerically and spiritually is for us to get busy preaching Christ. People will not attend our meeting place unless we first visit them. Even if they did come through the providence of God, the burden of responsibility is upon us to show them the way to salvation by preaching to them the whole counsel of God. Jesus did not require us to lure people with physical activities like basketball, table tennis and football games. The gospel is the power of God to salvation (Rom. 1:16-17). The Lord said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel” (Matt. 28:18-20). The above is true because when a time comes when people no longer have access to those sports activities that draw them, they will return to the world. After all, they have not been drawn in the first place by the word of God. The same is true of those lured to the fold of Christ through food and material gains; when those things are no longer there again, they will return to the world (Cf. John 6:26-27). May we all resolve to preach nothing but to hold fast to the word of life (Phil.2:16).

Lastly, I am determined to let go of the past and press on toward the mark. Apostle Paul would say: “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil.3:13-14).

Brethren, we must not dwell on the past. We must put it behind us and move forward in our service to God. It is easy to allow church problems of the past to hinder us in our service to the Lord. Perhaps we have received mistreatment from brethren in the past; we should not allow such to obscure our thinking and hinder our faithfulness to God. If encumbrances in our lives draw us backwards, we must repent of those sins, ask God’s forgiveness, and then move on in the service of our God. May we be energized by the song:   

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. (Palmer Hartsoughpub.1896)[3]

[1] Determined Definition & Meaning | Dictionary.Com

[2] Greek Word Studies κρίνω, ‘krino’ meaning ‘to judge’ 2919 (logosapostolic.org)

[3] I Am Resolved > Lyrics | Palmer Hartsough (timelesstruths.org)

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