Friday, December 31, 2010

What Could Make This a Happy New Year?

A new year is almost upon us. This is the time when I try to set some spiritual goals for the year ahead. I’m not talking about your typical New Year’s resolutions, but setting a goal for what I want God to do in my life—to change me and make me more like Jesus in the coming year.

I figure that if the children in my family didn’t grow from year to year, as expected, I’d be concerned. But often we can go from one year to another without any real visible spiritual growth in our lives. That means we are shrunken Christians, or maybe sick ones. We should be concerned.

I don’t want to go through 2011 without growing in the Lord, and I’m sure you don’t either. So, I’m going to take the challenge to identify one area where I need spiritual growth and pray it into my life. I hope you’ll take this challenge with me.

First I want to ask God to show me what area of my life needs spiritual growth or discipline. Then I should look into his Word for a verse that challenges me in that area. And then I need to pray this verse everyday into my life.

For example, maybe I need to be a better listener and talk less. I might choose James 1:19 which says that “Everyone should be quick to listen and slow to speak.”

Or maybe I need to have a more loving attitude toward a coworker who irritates me. If so, I’d go to 1 Corinthians 16:14 that says, very simply, “Do everything in love.” I’d then take that as my daily prayer, and each day ask God to help me do everything in love. I’d pray for a right attitude toward those who irritate me. I could ask for the ability to see them the way God sees them.

It may be that as you face this new year, you would like to know that you are living in God’s will each day. Well, why not make that your spiritual goal for the year? I encourage you to pray Romans 12:1-2 into your life each day, like this: “Lord, today I offer you my body as a living sacrifice. May it be holy and pleasing to you. May I not be conformed to this world, but transform me by renewing my mind, so that I will be able to test and approve your will for me today.” I can tell you from my own experience that this prayer is life-changing, if you are sincere and intentional about it. This will cause great spiritual growth in your life, as you daily relinquish control of your life to the Lord Jesus.

As we join together to set a spiritual goal and then begin praying it into our lives, it could make 2011 our best year yet. Then at the end of this year, we can look back and see the spiritual growth in our lives. That would be a blessing to us and to many others, as well as a testimony to Jesus Christ. That could make this a truly Happy New Year…all year!


  1. I have been thinking about the new year and about resolutions. Just by coincidence (NOT) I downloaded a Bible study about spiritual disciplines yesterday. I definitely want to take some time this weekend to think and pray about what you've written and see where the Lord wants me to focus this coming year. May you be richly blessed! Thank you for your ministry.

  2. Thank you for that encouraging word. May you experience rich fellowship with Christ as you seek to walk more closely with Him in 2011.