New Year’s Resolutions

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Happy New Year!!

January 1st is a huge day for us each year. It represents the beginning of a new year, starting over, beginning afresh, a new chapter in our lives and a chance to remake ourselves into the person we want the world to see. I am sure you have heard of a New Year’s resolution before, also I am sure you have made one or more of these resolutions in your life. Here are some of the most common resolutions we make to start out each year:

  • Diet or eat healthier (71 percent)
  • Exercise more (65 percent)
  • Lose weight (54 percent)
  • Save more and spend less (32 percent)
  • Learn a new skill or hobby (26 percent)
  • Quit smoking (21 percent)

Do you know that most of these resolutions are set aside by people after just a few days or weeks? Did you know that Forbes magazine reported a study that revealed that less than 25% of people actually stay committed to their resolutions after just 30 days, & only 8% actually accomplish them? Have you made any of these resolutions in your life over the past years? I know I have & I know I have failed almost every time. Even Christians try to make these types of resolutions for certain things in our Christian walk, mainly it is:

  • Read our Bible more
  • Pray more

Christians make these resolutions hoping that they will make us better people and draw us closer to the Lord & if they are carried out & followed, they will. However, most of us fail before we ever begin because we are more focused on the what and not enough on the why. What do you mean by making these resolutions? I believe that we can be so focused on doing what we resolved that we miss out on the point of why we should be doing it.

For the believer, reading our Bible is not some task to check off a list, but rather it is the very source of God speaking into our lives. For the believer prayer is so much more than just a time where we ask God to bless & protect us or pray for a sick loved one. These things should be the lifeblood of our Christian walk. Becoming a Christian should result in a new way of thinking plus a new outlook on life! (Rom 12:1-2).

Have you ever complained that you don’t know what God’s will for your life is? How often do you grieve that you don’t seem hear God’s voice speaking into your life? I want to share with you today that when you read & meditate on the Word of God it will give you an up close & personal relationship with Him. God will speak directly through His word & guide you. The issue is more often, are you listening for Him to speak to you when you are reading?

I believe that reading the Bible has to become as important to a believer’s daily walk as breathing is to our very existence. It takes only three (3) minutes of oxygen deprivation for the human body to begin to shut down because of the lack of oxygen. Likewise, going days without reading the bible can be critical for the believer. I have heard it said that going seven (7) days without reading your Bible makes one (1) weak. Christians should never go a single day without immersing themselves in Scripture. I don’t mean just skimming over our favorite passage, but rather truly reading & absorbing the message we are given when we read it.

Likewise, prayer is not simply something we do, it should be part of who we are. Prayer is how we communicate with God and it is one way He communicates with us. Our focus should be that we pray & that we pray on a very regular basis. Let me share a few truths about prayer.

  • We are commanded to pray (1 Thess 5:16-18; Phil 4:6-7; Eph 6:18-19)
  • Prayer gives God the glory (Lk 2:36-38)
  • Prayer helps us to overcome: Temptation (Matt 26:41), Difficult decisions in life (Lk 6:12-13)
  • Prayer brings our need directly to God (Matt 7:7; 1 John 5:14-15)
  • Prayer helps us discern His will.

Sadly though, often believers treat God like a cosmic vending machine! The prayer life of many is used to simply request things from God. The prayer life of the believer should be more focused on what God desires for them and seeking His will rather than Him fulfilling any sort of ‘want list.’ Believers, we must understand that prayer does not change God’s mind, but prayer does change us & our mindset. Prayer also draws us to Him & helps us to see through the eyes of our Savior.

Do you have a resolution for this year as a Christian? My prayer is that we all begin to focus on why we do these things… we do them to give Him glory & to draw closer to Him! Prayer & Bible reading are not some boxes from a list to be checked but should be an intricate part of the life of a believer.