With every new year that arrives, many of us will plan and formulate a variety of new year’s resolutions.
The new year always gives us a sense of a new start; new opportunities and they help us to reflect on past successes and past mistakes and what we can do in the next 12 months of the year in order to make our life a bit more better.
Therefore setting goals is good because it gives us a sense of purpose and direction in life.
However if our destiny or purpose in life is to be meaningful then we need to learn to plan and create the right goals for our life.
It is not only the goals that are temporary in nature that are important, but also it is important to set spiritual goals because spiritual goals are the ones that create a strong foundation for our daily living throughout the year.
Below are 10 Ideas For Your New Year’s Resolutions
1. SPEND MORE TIME READING & STUDYING GOD’S WORD
How much time do you spend reading and studying God’s word by yourself? Are you the type of person who enjoys to be spiritually spoon-fed by others or do you take the time to study God’s word alone? It is imperative to our personal spiritual growth for us to learn to spend more time studying and meditating on God’s word by having our own personal Bible study time.
Psalm 1:1-3 says: Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
According to Psalm 1:1-3 there are benefits to studying God’s word in that we are constantly refreshed, encouraged and experience spiritual growth through the meditation and study of His word. Whatever we do prospers in the Lord because we have God’s wisdom when we obey His word.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says: All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
RESOLUTION # 1: Let it be your new year’s resolution that you spend more personal time both studying and meditating on God’s word.
2. SPEND MORE TIME WITH GOD IN PRAYER
How much time do you spend with God in prayer? How often are you distracted by the details of life so that it has led you to spend less time with God in prayer? Do you pray for other people as often as you pray for yourself? Do you pray more for material things instead of praying for the things of God which are spiritual and intangible?
Changing the way we pray is important. We need to pray with the mind of seeking God’s will and not our own will. In addition to praying for our own needs, we also need to develop a culture of praying about the things that concern God.
1 John 5:14-15 says: And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him.
RESOLUTION # 2: Let your new year’s resolution be to spend more time communicating with God and praying according to His will.
3. LET CHRIST INCREASE WHILE YOU DECREASE
John the Baptist once famously said that Christ must increase while he must decrease (John 3:30).
Galatians 2:20 says: I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
The whole purpose of the Christian life is that it is Jesus Christ who should be in total control of our individual life. Our salvation is found in Jesus Christ alone and therefore only He can take full Lordship over our life.
RESOLUTION # 3: Let your new year’s resolution be to reveal more of the nature and character of Jesus Christ in your daily life.
4. SHARE THE WORD OF GOD TO OTHERS
How often do you share the gospel to other people? How often do you share His word?
Remember that sharing God’s word has not been exclusively reserved for a pastor or a church leader.
Every Christian person belongs to the priesthood of believers. Therefore every Christian believer is a minister of the gospel and the word of God.
Mark 16:15 says: And He said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”
RESOLUTION # 4: Let your new year’s resolution be to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and to encourage and teach other people the word of God with the aim that people may intimately know Christ.
5. PUT ON THE FULL ARMOUR OF GOD
Life is full of challenges, trials, temptations and all kinds of spiritual warfare. Therefore the new year will always bring its own share of problems and issues.
However, we must always be ready and prepared in Christ for the battles that come our way.
Ephesians 6:10-18 says: Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
RESOLUTION # 5: Let your new year’s resolution be to put on the full armour of God
6. RESPOND WITH LOVE IN EVERY SITUATION
We are living in the last days and Jesus warned that in the end times the love of many will grow cold. In other words, many people no longer have a culture of love, empathy or compassion. Instead a culture and conduct of individualism, self-centeredness and narcissism are on the rise.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 says: Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends…
RESOLUTION # 6: Let your new year’s resolution be to act and respond in love in every situation in life – even to people you may not always get along with.
7. SEEK THE THINGS ABOVE & NOT ON THE EARTH
Tomorrow is not promised to anyone. The solemn reality is that no one can predict the day or the hour of their death. We can all die at anytime.
Therefore what is the real focus of our daily life? Is it mostly to focus on worldly and earthly pursuits? Do we live simply to make money and acquire as much material possessions as we can? Or is there more to life than the pursuit of the things that we will one day leave behind when we die?
2 Corinthians 4:18 says: As we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
Colossians 3:1-2 says: If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
RESOLUTION # 7: Let your new year’s resolution be to pursue that which matters to God the most.
8. BE THANKFUL IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES
How thankful are you? Do you always count your blessings? Are you thankful for the small things in life?
Even when we face various tests and trials, God sometimes allows them to develop our character and to lead us into a place where we depend upon Him alone.
It is also the revealed will of God that we be thankful in every situation in life.
James 1:2-4 says: Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says: Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
RESOLUTION # 8: Let your new year’s resolution be to have an attitude of gratitude in every circumstance.
9. DEFEND THE CHRISTIAN FAITH
We live in a world where apostasy and heresy is on the rise. Jesus Himself warned that there will be a rise in false prophets and false teachings (Matthew 7:15-23; Matthew 24:24).
Therefore it has become necessary that we become cautious and alert in order to avoid spiritual deception from creeping into our life.
It has become necessary more than ever that we test the spirits and that we have the attitude of the Bereans in Acts 17 who studied the word of God and verified whatever was preached.
Every Christian believer must be prepared to stand for the truth and expose evil and deception even at the cost of being persecuted.
1 John 4:1 says: Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Ephesians 5:11-13 says: Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible,
RESOLUTION # 9: Let your new year’s resolution be to boldly speak the truth in love and expose spiritual deception when it comes your way
10. ALWAYS GIVE GLORY TO GOD ALONE
The Christian believer’s life does not belong himself. It belongs to God. We do not live to glorify ourselves but we live in order to glorify God in whatever we do.
Colossians 3:17 says: And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him
Colossians 3:23-24 says: Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
RESOLUTION # 10: Let your new year’s resolution be to give honour, praise and glory to God alone because He alone deserves it.
May the good Lord bless you and guide you and give you wisdom throughout the entire year.