Happy New Year! Ok, it isn’t December 31st yet, but it is coming up this week. Many of you will be making new year’s resolutions. Some will go on diets, some will quit smoking, some will make some vague resolution to “be nicer” or something like that. All nobel ideas and good things to resolve, but let me recommend a few other options.
The best thing you can do to improve your life and the lives of those around you is to become rooted in the Word of God and spend daily time communicating with the Lord – developing a personal relationship with him.
It doesn’t have to be long. It can be just a 5 minute reading of a daily devotional and quick prayer to start off the day. It can be 10 minutes reading a chapter of one of your favorite books of the Bible. As long as you set aside that time to be with God (and without distractions) you will be enriched by the experience. If you are already doing this, resolve to do something different to keep things fresh.
Need ideas? Here are a few:
- Sign up for a daily devotional email. See a list of them here. I’m a fan of Greg Laurie’s, but there are lots to choose from.
- Start a prayer journal. List the people you care most about (or even least about) and jot down some prayer requests for them. This is fun to look back on in a few months to see how God has blessed them (and you).
- Pick a book of the Bible and read through it (a little each day). I know many people resolve to read through the whole Bible in a year. More power to them if they can do it, but I’m pretty sure the success rate on that is low. Unless you are the kind of person that can follow through on long, daily commitments, I’d encourage you to start off slow. Start with one of the Gospels (Matt., Mark, Luke, John) or perhaps one of the more famous letters (Ephesians, Corinthians, Hebrews, etc.). You can always keep going when you get to the end.
- Plan a spiritual weekend getaway. Sometimes you just need to remove yourself from the daily grind and find some place in the woods or by a lake to relax and empty your head. That’s a great time to ask God what he would like to see you focused on. Maybe it is a new direction or maybe it is just to renew your dedication to what you are doing now. But God likes to speak to us when he has our full attention.
These are just some ideas. Feel free to pick and choose what works best for you. But do try to be specific in your resolution. Saying “I’ll read the Bible more” is pretty vague and is more likely to be forgotten and neglected in a few weeks (or even days).
Also, in case you missed it, we’re entering a new decade. Spend some time praying for the coming years. I’ve always found New Years to be great times for introspection about the past and dreaming of the future. But more on that in tomorrow’s post.