2016 has come and gone. According to memes on Instagram, people are stoked to say farewell. As I examine this past year, I see how God has used incredibly painful circumstances to increase my reliance on Him, humbled my heart to see I am nothing apart from Him, and seen how He has made me fight to treasure Jesus more. As the New Year is here-there is always more joy to be found in Jesus and increased love for Him. In order to chase after that joy more actively, I have decided to make some resolutions that I am going to make into habits.
1. Spend 30 minutes a day in The Bible
This year I want to be shaped by God’s Word. I want to find my rest in Him and Him alone. Psalm 19 tells us:
“The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
the rules of the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.”
I want my soul to be revived daily by His Word.
I want to stop watching Netflix so much and start meditating on His promises.
I want His Word to give me a discerning and wise heart that is able to maneuver the gray areas of this life. Most importantly, I want to be transformed more into the image of my Savior, Jesus Christ. The Bible is God’s revealed will for our life-it tells us how to navigate the unsure waters of this world. This year, I challenge both of us to spend 30 minutes a day in His Word. If you are unsure how to read the Bible, read this or this to learn how. Click here for my favorite Bible that I use-a reputable study Bible is a must. Also, they’re on sale right now!
“Most importantly, I want to be transformed more into the image of my Savior, Jesus Christ.”
2. Be More Committed to Making Disciples
In Matthew 28 Jesus tells us to, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”
This year I want to seek out more women God has put in my life to disciple. Discipling just means teaching them Jesus’ commands and helping their walk with Him. It is meeting people exactly where they are and taking them where Jesus want them to be. In The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer defines discipleship simply as “adherence to Christ.”
“We’re just sisters in Christ seeking truth together in God’s Word. We mutually encourage each other to look and act more like Jesus. Jesus is our ultimate disciple making model.”
You will never know all the answers. That is actually what I tell every girl I disciple up front: I’m messed up and imperfect too. We’re just sisters in Christ seeking truth together in God’s Word. We mutually encourage each other to look and act more like Jesus. Jesus is our ultimate disciple making model.
How did He teach His disciples?
He did life with them. He talked with them, He ate with them, He hung out with them. He did life with them.
Hebrews 4:15 tells us, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”
Jesus is our ultimate example. Study and emulate what He did. This year I want to be more committed to life-on-life disciple making. Who has God already put in your life who you can come alongside and encourage?
3. Be More Confident in Who God has Made Me
This year I want to be more confident in who God has created me. Psalm 139 tells us, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
There is a tension we live in because God has made us unique and beautiful, but we are constantly being transformed more into the image of Jesus. One thing I struggle with is craving other’s approval. This year I want to focus more on my identity in Jesus-I want to recognize that I am still a work in progress, but I want to simultaneously rest in my identity as a daughter of God. He made made us all singularly beautiful and unique, but there is always more growth to be found in Jesus-more transformation to be done. This year I am praying every day that I would find my confidence in Christ alone and that I would be confident of the Holy Spirit living within me.
“I want to recognize that I am still a work in progress, but I want to simultaneously rest in my identity as a daughter of God.”
4. Increased Reliance on Prayer for Others
I want to be more outwardly focused.
I want to ask my friends weekly how I can be praying for them and actually be fervent in my prayers for them. I want to be more servant minded with my prayers and love others better by praying daily for them.
You’ll notice as you pray for others, your love for them increases and you are able to care for them better.
I love it when Jesus prays for us in John 17, “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.”
(P.s. Sanctify just means to be set apart for God, holy)
” You’ll notice as you pray for others, your love for them increases and you are able to care for them better.”
5. Call Two People I Love a Week
Confession: I am poor communicator with long distance friends and family. The result is a loss of friendship. This year I want to care others more diligently by calling at least two people a week.
I want these five things to become habits, not just things I try to do in 2017-but quit mid February. What are your New Year resolutions/habits? Have you prayerfully asked God for discernment on areas where you could grow and experience increased rest and satisfaction in Jesus? My prayer for all of us as we enter 2017 is increased dependance on Christ and for hearts that long to be molded more to His image.
Happy New Year!