The New Year quickly approaches---are you one to make a New Year's Resolution? If so, how successful are you in keeping them? Measure your resolution against God's word. If your resolution is in His will, He will enable you to do it. So Pray for His wisdom and strength in setting and achieving your goals for the New Year
1. Repairing Relationships: Colossians 3:13 - "Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you."
When we remind ourselves of all that God has forgiven us for, through the blood of Jesus Christ, then how can we not forgive those who have hurt us? Forgiving someone who has hurt you is a wonderful gift---not just to them, but to you too. Pray to God to help you to forgive them and to heal your heart and relationships.
2. Helping Others: Matthew 25:34-40 - "Then the king will say to those at his right hand, "Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me." Then the righteous will answer him, "Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?" And the king will answer them, "Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me."
You can be a blessing to others in so many ways, donating food, money, clothing. Giving of your time to help others, serving at homeless shelters or visiting nursing homes. #3 Losing weight or getting in better shape: 1 Corinthians 19:20 - "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body."
Practical Application: Ever considered that God actually wants you to take care of your body? While in context this verse is actually dealing with sexual immorality, the overarching theme is often missed. We ought to honor God with our bodies through everything that we do; thus, taking care of bodies physically falls under this umbrella and ultimately is a matter of good stewardship. If your New Year's resolution is to get in shape, use this Bible verse to remind you that you're working to improve something that you ought to make the best anyways.
#4 Spend more time with God: Matthew 14:22-23 - "Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone..."
When I first began learning about Jesus, I was impressed with how much time he spent in prayer---no one is as good and pure as Jesus, and yet he spent so much time in prayer. Should we spend any less time with God? Should we pray any less than He? The second thing I figured out is that all relationships take work to maintain---if you don't spend time with someone, if you don't talk to them, how do you have a relationship with them? The same is true of our relationship with God.
#5 Be a Better Person: Mark 12:29-31 - "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."
I love the song by Brandon Heath--"Give me your eyes" where he asks God to give him God's eyes so he might see all of us the way God sees us, and to love everyone the way God loves everyone.
My New Year's Resolution: To be closer to Jesus through Charity to others.
I am making a "Charity Jar" to put loose change in all year long and at the end of 2014 I will pick a charity to donate it to. And through out the year I want to be more giving to others and I pray God helps me to recognize every opportunity to do so!