Your New Year’s Resolutions: Getting practical
It's time to write down your plans for growing in love for God and others this year.
So far in this series, we've learned that:
- New Year's Resolutions require getting your priorities right
- The best NYR is to grow in love for God and others
- The power to do that comes from God
Now, we're going to take a look at some practical things you can do to keep your NYR in the year ahead.
Hard work is the most rewarding
I Timothy 4:8-10 says:
Train yourself in godliness, for, while physical training is of some value, godliness is valuable in every way, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and struggle, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.
The apostle Paul uses a training image here. His student (Timothy) needed to understand that:
- Growing in godliness is going to be hard work
- Growing to reflect God's desires....is hard work
- Growing to be more loving is hard work, too
- Growing to reflect God's character and God's desires....takes hard work
But Paul reassures Timothy (and the rest of us) that this can be the most rewarding work of our life.
"...it is valuable in every way—holding promise for both the present life and the life to come."
Growing in love for God does take hard work. It takes planning. It takes determination and commitment.
All of the hard work, the planning, the determination and willpower will not be enough, though, UNLESS you are powering your willpower with love. Unless you are feeding your love for God.
How to grow in love in 2017
Some ways you might want to grow in love for God and others this year could include:
- Reading your Bible more
- Praying more often
- Listening to online sermons
- Attending church
- Listening to praise music
- Journalling your thoughts about faith
- Meeting up with other Christians at school
Whatever you plan to do, make sure you remember the goal behind them. Don't read your Bible just because ... read your Bible so you can grow in love! Be purposeful. Be deliberate.
When you read a Bible passage, make these your key questions:
- What does this passage teach me about God that delights me?
- What is beautiful about God in this passage?
- What do I love about Jesus in this passage?
Consider how much God must love you, to send His only son to die for you, so that you could live.
Our love for God grows as we delight in His love for us.
So, how will you nurture your delight in God in 2017? Write down your thoughts and plans somewhere you'll see them regularly - and keep praying that God will grow your love for Him and others this year!
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