Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
As we get ready for a new year many people set it their goal to lose weight and exercise. I came across a list of exercises we would be better off staying away from in 2013.
1 Jumping on the bandwagon
2 Wading through paperwork
3 Running around in circles
4 Pushing your luck
5 Spinning your wheels
6 Adding fuel to the fire
7 Beating your head against the wall
8 Climbing the walls
9 Beating your own drum
10 Dragging your heels
11 Jumping to conclusions
12 Grasping at straws
13 Fishing for compliments
14 Throwing your weight around
15 Passing the buck
Let me suggest 5 things we can each do to bring us closer to God in the year 2013
#1 – Read the Red and Pray for the Power.
Instead of getting involved in another read the Bible through in a year program how about changing tactics? The reason we read our Bibles is not to gain knowledge. Knowledge alone is not enough and in all honesty, even in Christians, knowledge puffs up. If our intent is to get to know the Savior of our souls better and to grow in a deeper knowledge of the love of Christ towards us, then how about thinking outside the box and this year you make it a goal to read all the words printed in red in a red letter edition Bible? The red letters are the words of Jesus Himself. This can be done easily in 1 month’s time so you can do it 12 times in 1 year. If you read something 12 times do you think you will remember what is said? I do! Along with reading the red, pray that God will enable you by the power of the Holy Spirit to carry out what is written in the red. You can find a Red Letter Bible Here.
#2 – Skip a meal a week and give the money you save to the poor.
We all hear of people making New year’s resolutions to lose weight or eat healthier. Well how about making that goal something that actually has spiritual significance. In Isaiah, the prophet talks about a fast that God has ordained. He tells us to not only go without eating but to give the food we would have eaten to the poor. How about when you decide to eat less, you take that money that you save and give it to your local food bank or a charitable mission’s organization?
#3 – Let God be in control of your appointment book.
Many Christians make New Year’s resolutions to win more people to Jesus. To be more faithful in evangelizing their friends and families. They may start off good and actually speak up, but as the business of the year starts, this goal becomes forgotten in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Instead of making a goal of evangelizing, how about making the goal of starting every morning with the simple prayer for God to make you sensitive to His divine appointments throughout the day? Instead of limiting your goal to just evangelism that “you make an effort about”, make your goal to be more sensitive to “Divine appointments that God is making an effort about”? On your way to work or while taking your morning shower, just ask the Lord to keep you aware of His appointments for the day
#4 – Make biblical prosperity your goal.
Many people at New Year’s make resolutions to get a new job, make more money, buy a house or car, etc. They focus their attention on the world’s view of prosperity. I would like to challenge you to make biblical prosperity your goal. Biblical prosperity centers in on the health and wholeness of your spirit and soul. Make this year a year that you center in on how healthy you are spiritually and emotionally. Instead of getting into more debt where that brings anxiety to your heart, work on getting out of debt. Instead of taking on a second job just so you can have more toys, work on becoming content with what you have so you can spend more time with your children. Instead of taking a job that makes you work nights just so you can get a promotion, how about thinking outside the box and get your promotion at home by being the greatest spouse, parent, neighbor you can beChristian
#5 – Random words of kindness and mercy.
In the book of James, he writes that good water and bitter water should not come out of the same well. He is talking about the words we speak. This year how about making a goal that you are going to say random words of kindness and mercy to 1 person every day. That you will bless or compliment someone just because you can. Whether it be your spouse, your child, your neighbor, or the stranger standing in front of you in the grocery store, you are going to find one person every day that you can bless with words of kindness and mercy. As the Psalmist said in Psalm 19:14 “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, My Rock and my Redeemer.
What better New Year’s goals can be made than a goal of doing something that will be pleasing to our God?
Dear Lord as we look forward to the New Year we pray that it would be in each of our hearts to do things that are pleasing to You. Help our faith and trust in You grow beyond what we can imagine this new year. In Jesus’ name, Amen.