Happy New Years Day! While New Years traditions abound, according to research there is one thing at least 40% of us will be doing today: setting New Year’s resolutions.
Whether or not you have already created your list, we have some ideas for you to consider.
Here are 5 things to add to your list of New Year’s resolutions—
1. Read the Bible morethan you did this year.
This isn’t about reading the Bible cover to cover or being perfect and never “missing a day.” Sometimes life happens and we miss an opportunity to read like we should. Don’t let it destroy your goal. Aim to read more than you did this year. So if you read only a verse or two each day in 2018, decide to read a chapter every day in 2019. If you only found time to read once or twice a week, make it your goal to read three or four times (or more).
Most importantly, make it your goal to really get to know God through His Word.
2. Show morecompassion than you did this year.
John 13:35 says, “By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” 1 Corinthians 13 indicates that love is the greatest Fruit of the Spirit. So it matters to God that we show compassion to the people He created.
In 2019, seek to love your neighbor—i.e., everyone who crosses your path—more than you did this year. When you encounter the inept driver or the obnoxious salesman or the selfish co-worker, seek to love him or her as Christ loves you.
Most importantly, make it your goal to live practically what you believe theologically.
3. Serve the Church morethan you did this year.
You may think you’ve reached your max with what you are willing or able to do for your church, but carefully consider whether God might have you do something more (or something else) in 2019. What gifts have you been uniquely given that would bless your church family? What does your church need you to do? Sometimes the tasks we are hesitant to do are the ones that bring us the most joy when we obey.
Unless your church is the lone exception, chances are, your church is looking for people to help in certain areas. What can you do in 2019 to help fill the gap?
Most importantly, make it your goal to serve the Church for the glory of God.
4. Talk to God morethan you did this year.
Though it doesn’t make sense from a time management perspective, it makes good sense in the life of the believer—the busier we are, the more we should pray. Martin Luther said it best, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” Many (most?) of us would fail to consistently spend the first three hours of our day in prayer. And the Bible doesn’t actually demand the first three hours from us. But it does require us to pray, and we can certainly pray more than we did this year. Consider talking to God on your commute to work or during lunch break or when your children are taking a nap. Create set times to pray, but also seek to pray spontaneously throughout the day as needs or opportunities (or blessings!) arise.
Most importantly, make it your goal to talk to God about the details in your life before you talk to others.
5. Love God morethan you did this year.
Though this is number five on the list, it is number one in priority. If we truly love God the way we should, everything else will begin to fall in place. In Matthew 22, a lawyer sought to trick Jesus by asking Him which of the commandments was greatest. Jesus replied—
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40).
Most importantly, always seek to love God more tomorrow than you did today.
Bottom line: This list of New Year’s resolutions isn’t about perfection; it’s about growth. By the grace of God and with His promised help, we can each meet our resolutions in 2019.