Well, Happy New Year! I trust that things have gotten off on the right foot for you—so far.
While we’re thinking about new starts, new years, new beginnings, let me once again nudge you about a new blog I’ve started that debuted today, Bible 101. It’s intention is to help the beginning student to get a foothold on the Bible by learning its overall structure, it’s “plot”, and the major stories. Of course, more advanced students may also find it interesting, too, as a reminder of things (repetition is important) and perhaps in seeing structure and connections in the Bible that you might not have noticed before. So, let me invite you to check out my new offering, perhaps begin following it, and perhaps more importantly share it with someone that you may be trying to share the Gospel with.
Since it is a new year, and we tend to try to make a few changes in our lives, I thought I’d share a few things that may help us keep our new year’s resolutions.
Pray about your resolution every day
Not only does prayer about your resolution engage the power of the Lord, but it reminds us every day what we have promised to change. There will likely be days when our resolutions will go down in flames—that’s human—but standing before the Almighty in prayer about our promised changes should help us to reflect on what we did wrong, where we went wrong, and how we might do better next time. Pray about your resolution every day.
Work out how to avoid or defeat the temptations
We make resolutions about things, because we know we have a problem with something. A problem, a sin, a habit, a weakness, or an emotion just gets the better of us pretty regularly; or a good thing that we should be doing gets neglected on a regular basis. How do we get the upper hand? We plan our response to the temptations, the situations, the busyness that usually causes us to do what we don’t want to do, or neglect the thing we know we should do. Like strategy on a battlefield, anticipation of what the enemy will do is a key to defeating him. So, what are the triggers or situations that cause you to miss the mark of your aspirations? And now, what will you do to defeat the triggers or situations that you know will arise?
Get the good advice of the Bible
The Lord’s word is the essence of wisdom and good judgment. And you might be surprised at how much good advice is to be found in its pages for your specific problem. Take a pencil and read through Proverbs, for example, and underline all the verses that speak to your problem. Read through the teachings of Jesus, Matthew 5-7, for example, and apply His words and teachings. Put them into practice. Sometimes the solution is found in how we think, sometimes in how we act, sometimes in what we choose to avoid, sometimes in what we choose deliberately do.
Share it with someone
There’s nothing like a little positive peer pressure to help some of us to do what we said we’d do. Knowing that someone will ask us how we’re doing can really help us to “stay the course”. God gave us one another for a number of good reasons—this is only one of many.
Whatever you may have resolved to do this year, I hope you attain your goals, your aim, your aspirations. I especially wish you God’s blessings on the “upward way” of drawing closer to the image of Christ. Happy New Year!