What is your new year’s Spiritual Resolution?
So, what is your new year’s resolution? People make resolutions because they want to bring change to their circumstances and improve their quality of life. The most common are losing weight, exercising more, get out of debt, save for the future and spend more time with family. The most common resolutions used for the new year are physical in nature. However, the same terms can apply to our spiritual life. So, let’s consider the following resolutions for 2017.
1. I am going to Exercise the spirit. If we want our spiritual body to be in great shape, we must work at it. In I Corinthians 9:24-27, Paul tells us “those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize. Run in such a way that you may win.” Paul said “I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave.”
Used consistently, the word of God and prayer are proven exercise plans that can produce great results. In II Timothy 2:15, Paul told Timothy to “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” If you want a relationship with the Heavenly Father, I Thessalonians 5:17 says to “pray without ceasing.” So, the two must be used together if we truly desire results.
2. I am going to Get out of Debt of sin and stay out. We all sin, and we all make mistakes. The sooner we admit that and focus our efforts on eliminating our sinful nature, the better off we will be. Hebrews 12:1 directs us to “lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” According to Romans 6:6, we must know that “our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.” This will only be accomplished when we become “obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed”, Roman 6:17.
3. I am going to Spend More Time with my Church Family. Who do you spend your time with and how often? If we want to be new testament Christians and members of the church, we must be like the church described in Acts 2:42-47. The Christians described in Acts made it a priority to have relationships with each other by devoting “themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” They “continued to meet together” and they “broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.” So, who do you spend your time with and how often?
4. I am going to Save for our Future. The goal is eternity in Heaven and that is the future we should seek. Matthew 6:33 instructs us to “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.” We should sincerely desire a future in Heaven as Paul did. In II Corinthians 5:1-2, Paul said “in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven.”
While we remain here on earth, we should set goals for the future of our families. That require us to be more proactive with evangelism. Paul said it best when it comes to evangelism. “I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some”, I Corinthians 9:22.
The special relationship that new testament Christians enjoyed in the Church in Acts 2 lead to the Lord “adding to their number daily those who were being saved.” If we want to bring others to Christ, we must strive to be the new testament church. We must also eliminate the first mistake that Satan takes advantage of when Christians try to bring others to Christ. Stick to God’s plan and don’t compare ourselves to other religious groups.
5. I am going to Lose the Weight of Worry. How much time do you spend worrying? What do you worry about? We all worry about something and it is usually not just one thing. Worry and fear equates to wasted energy. Why not direct all that effort to something more productive? In Matthew 6:34, Christ commands, “So do not worry about tomorrow.”
In Matthew 13:22, Christ said, “And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” This can be any of us. This problem is not confined to a certain age range, gender or if someone does or no longer attends church.
Philippians 4:6-10 tells us to “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
What would a list of spiritual resolutions look like for you?