Have you made a New Year’s resolution? Or maybe you’ve given up on
doing that! Perhaps in past years you’ve been through the cycle of
optimism, trying hard, faltering, getting discouraged, and giving up.
Indeed, most people who make a New Year’s Resolution have given up
on their project by mid-February. Many people discard the whole idea
and say, “I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions!”
But there is another way to approach the start of a New Year: Pray for
God to lead you in a “New Year’s Renewal.”
Have you been using the clean slate and fresh start of a New Year to
make a New Year’s Renewal in the past? Let us pray and ask the Lord
what he wants to do in our lives and how we can work with him to grow
in that area. Let this New Year’s Renewals always boils down to one
thing: More than anything I want to be the kind of person who lives for
the one thing of being devoted to Christ with all my heart.
How do we grow to be devoted to Christ as our One Thing? How do we
make real changes to how we live our daily lives as an expression of
love for God? How do we overcome worry or anger? How do we learn
to rejoice in trials? Pray without ceasing? Love difficult people? Not by
trying hard! That won’t last very long. Or it’ll just make us proud!
The way to make a real character change – to learn, grow, or heal in
any area – is by training. Look to Jesus as your Coach and “work out”
with him. “Train yourself to be godly” Paul advises us (1 Timothy
An important part of any spiritual training program is meditating on
Scripture. To meditate on Scripture is more than reading it. And it’s
different than studying it. When you meditate on Scripture you pray
through God’s Word by applying it to the struggles and opportunities of
your life. You become as a bee that stops on a flower and lingers,
staying on the flower to suck out the nectar and using it to make sweet
“Your word, O Lord, is sweeter than honey!” exclaims the Psalmist
(Psalm 119:103, paraphrased).
May you and I, day-by-day, discover more sweetness in Scripture and
use it to live for the One Thing of loving God and loving others as he
Are you willing to allow God to change your life on 2016?