On Tuesday, we will ring in a new year. Diets and exercise regimens will all begin, people will start reading their Bible more and attending more church services, and all those New Year’s resolutions will be fulfilled…right? How many of you started resolutions last year? And how many of you are still holding true to those resolutions a year later? My guess would be very few of us. Here are some things to consider as we embark on a new year with new resolutions:
- One day at a time – when there is a large task in front of us, it’s easy to get distracted and overwhelmed. Set small goals for yourself. Instead of saying you will read your entire Bible in a year (an admirable goal) set a goal of reading a specific amount of time each day, or reading a specific amount of chapters each day. By the end of the year, you will find you met that larger plan of reading the whole Bible. Meeting your smaller goals will keep your enthusiasm and motivation at a higher level.
- You are not alone – Remember that whatever you will struggle with this year, you are not alone. There is a loving church family here and you serve a loving God. Before Jesus sent His apostles into the world, He reminded them, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20). Let God help you through your difficulties, as His presence gives you peace and courage to tackle the tasks in your life.
- Don’t forget to look back – Many people will say, “Continue to look forward, never look back.” I think that’s appropriate at times, but sometimes I think we need to look back and see the progress that’s been made. Looking back will show you where you’ve been and how far you’ve come. It will also show you what else still needs to be done. For example, Paul recalled the days of his past when he said, “For I am the least of the apostles and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.” (I Corinthians 15:9). Despite his stature in the church, he used the memory of his past as Saul to help build his future as Paul.
So the question is: what will you do with a fresh start?