Most people have a love/hate relationship with New Year Resolutions. We make them, but before we get to February, we have forgotten about our resolutions.
One of the verses of the Bible that help me to build an argument for making resolutions (New Year or not) is Daniel 1:8. “Daniel determined that he would not defile himself with the king’s food or with the wine he drank.” I believe that Daniel’s resolve early was the foundation for his ability to stand up for his convictions when the stakes became much greater later in his life. His example is a good reminder that our ability to pass tests today prepares us to pass greater tests later.
So, if you are wondering what you will do with 2018, allow me to suggest several basic spiritual activities to resolve to do in 2018.
- Make a habit of weekly corporate worship in a local church. I read recently that weekly worship attendance is one of the easiest spiritual disciplines to maintain and yet many cannot keep the resolve to do this. I think that is right. All we have to do to maintain this spiritual discipline is get up and show up. I saw a picture recently of a nearly full football stadium in a driving snowstorm. The picture resonated with me. We get to where we really want to go.
- Resolve to read God’s Word every day. My personal testimony to you is that no spiritual discipline has been more effective in my life than a daily reading of God’s Word. Some days His Word convicts. Some days His Word encourages. Every day, His Word speaks.
- Maintain a discipline of prayer. At First Baptist Church, Lafayette, we have made it our aim to pray more and pray with greater effectiveness. Don’t let the strides of 2017 go to waste in 2018. Let’s press on!
- Endeavor to do something for God that you have never done before. Don’t settle for the status quo. Grow. Stretch. If you have never shared your faith, make that a 2018 goal. If you have never trusted God with a tithe of your income, make that your financial commitment of 2018.
Missionary C.T. Studd, who lived between 1860-1931, wrote a poem that contained lines that I turn to often. He wrote:
Only one life, ‘twill soon be past Only what’s done for Christ will last.
Let’s make sure that what’s done in 2018 will last.