I enjoy the annual reviews that media and news outlets publish each end of year. It is interesting to revisit and review some of the significant events of the past 12 months and reflect on the great achievements and losses of the past year. Many use the end of a year to plan their “New Year Resolutions”.
If you think about it, resolutions, of this sort, usually have 3 steps. e.g. You resolve to lose some weight in 2014: “I resolve to lose 5 kg (& keep it off!)” – this comes with regret that you gained those 5 kg through lack of discipline in my diet and exercise, so you opt to repent of your bad habits and resolve to reverse or reform to achieve this resolution. The pattern that emerges is:
- Regret of past wrong doing (or lack of right doing)
- Repent – reject and turn away from the past
- Resolve to commit and achieve the future (and in the case of the Christian, trust God to enable you) in 2014
If you’re a Christian, why not consider some resolutions oriented towards growing in your knowledge of God and resolve to live more consistently and fully as a representative of Jesus. Pray, and ask God to give you insight on what areas of your life are lacking in godliness, or are outright sinful, or are hindering your effectiveness as or growth as a follower of Jesus. (Psalm 139:23-24, Hebrews 12:1-2)
Here are a few suggestions to start. May God bless and enable you to strive after him and see and experience his greatness, goodness and glory in 2014.
1. Read the Bible Through in entirety by Dec 31st 2014 (YouVersion has some great plans, if you’re not sure where to start)
2. OR Read the New Testament through in entirety by Dec 31st 2010 (great for brand new Christians – try the YouVersion plans)
3. Volunteer and commit to a service team for the entire year. e.g. Youth Group, Kids Church or Sunday School, Music, Media, Playgroup, a new opportunity suited to your gifts & talents etc.
4. Go on a short term mission trip (see me for details or check out the SIM list of opportunities in each country)
5. Host a “Simply Christianity” event in your home for 6 weeks during 2014
6. Lead a “Simply Christianity” event in yours or someone else’s home for 6 weeks in 2014
7. Talk to me about giving a small (5 min) talk in Sunday Service on your testimony
8. Loose some weight to be in better health to serve the Lord and your family in 2014
9. Start (and continue) giving a set amount of money to missions or a project in 2014
10. Decide (and stick to it) to increase your sacrificial giving to the general offering and operating expenses of Church in 2014
11. Pray with your family (out loud) at least once per week (not at Church & not as part of grace for a meal).
12. Read the bible out loud at least once per week with your family (again, not at Church etc
p.s. My resolutions for 2014 include spending more time with my wife and daughter, 1 on 1 catch ups with men in our Church, reading several books, reading and re-learning my Greek New Testament, and improving my fitness via cycling. What are yours?