Are you ready for 2016? Do you have your tax stuff ready (remember tax time is on the horizon)? Are you caught up on your bills? Do you have your New Year’s resolutions ready?
The beginning of a year can be a very hectic and stressful time for many people. It is around the beginning of the year when many folks begin to take inventory of their lives and make goals to accomplish in the future.
What are your goals for 2016? Do you want to lose a few pounds? Do you want to eat healthier or exercise more? Do you want to be a better steward of your money and possessions? What about the goals for nurturing your relationship with God? What specific plans do you have for drawing closer to your Creator and becoming more like His Son in 2016?
Here are a few great choices to commit to that will only make your life better and draw you closer to God in 2016.
- Choose to read a section of the Bible. The Bible is the only book in the world to come from the very mind of God (2 Timothy 3:16). It is made up of 66 books (39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament). Through Bible reading we come to know the truth about God and how to please Him (2 Timothy 3:17; Romans 10:17; Psalm 119:105). Make a goal in 2016 to read one of the rich sections of the Bible. For example, maybe you read the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). The gospels provide eyewitness testimony to the work of Jesus on the earth. They provide sufficient evidence to believe in Him as the Son of God (John 20:31-31). Or, maybe you read the New Testament epistles (Romans-Revelation). These are letters written by apostles and prophets to first century Christians and churches. They too are designed to give us sufficient evidence to believe in Jesus (Romans 10:17; 1 John 5:13; 2 Peter 1:16-21). Or, maybe you read through the wisdom literature (Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon). These books provide practical wisdom that comes from God. By heeding to their words we can avoid so many pitfalls in life (Psalm 1:1-6; Proverbs 1:7; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
- Choose to follow the Bible. God doesn’t want us to merely read His word. He also wants us to do what it says (James 1:22). He wants us to do what it says in regard to gaining salvation (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38), forgiving others (Matthew 6:14-15), and seeking first His kingdom and righteousness (Matthew 6:33). Men like Noah, Abraham, and Moses were doers of God’s word (Hebrews 11:7-10, 23-28; James 2:19-23, 26).
- Choose to trust in God. There are nothing but blessings that come to the person who puts his complete trust in God (Proverbs 3:5-8). Trust God to answer your frustrations, disappointments, and problems in life. Trust God to help provide you help and direction in life. Trust God with your eternal destiny (John 14:1-6). Trust that God loves you and always has your best interest in mind (John 3:16). You will find peace when you choose to trust God (Hebrews 13:5-6).
- Choose to be a servant first. Don’t be a person wearing a bib. Instead be the person wearing the apron (Philippians 2:3-4). Be the person who makes time to build up the weak, listen to faint-hearted, and pray for the needy. People who are servants first achieve greatness in the eyes of God (Mark 10:43-44). Jesus is the ultimate example of a servant (Mark 10:45; Philippians 2:5-8).
- Choose to truly love your family. Tell your spouse you love them throughout each day. Compliment them. Be gentle with them (1 Peter 3:7). Make them feel special. Stay committed and always be willing to get through any obstacles that come your way (Matthew 19:6). Also tell your children you love them throughout each day. Understand that they are great blessings from God (Psalm 127:3-5). Help them make spiritual things the top priority in their lives (Ephesians 6:4). Help influence them to serve God while you still have them in your home (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).
Can you commit to making these godly choices in 2016? If so, your life will be blessed and you will be closer to God than ever before.
May God bless you with a wonderful 2016!
By Shawn Jeffries