Happy New Year! As we begin 2018, lots of people are making lists and resolutions hoping to keep them in an effort to make this year better than the last. The list of resolutions usually goes something like: losing weight, getting in shape, not sucking their thumb, or biting nails, finding a better job, saving money, giving more money, getting out of debt, or even just being a better person.
These things can be helpful and good and maybe they will make life better but to what end? What if our resolutions we set for ourselves this year were focused on strengthening, growing, or deepening our relationship with Christ.
Like any relationship, our relationship with Christ takes effort to maintain, let alone grow or deepen. The more you pray, the more you learn to rely on Him, the more time you spend in His word the more you know about Him. So as a follower of Christ, as you set out to make resolutions for this new year, maybe you should consider adding some of the following examples to your list.
Read God’s Word: 1 Timothy 4:13
Study God’s Word: 2 Timothy 2:15
Meditate on God’s Word: Josh 1:8; Psalms 1:1-2
Memorize God’s Word: Psalms 119:11
Confession: James 5:16
Evangelism: Matthew 28:19-20
Solitude: Matthew 6:6
Service: Titus 3:8 & 14
Fasting: Matthew 6:16
Prayer: Colossians 4:2
Worship: Hebrews 12:28
Fellowship: Hebrews 10:24-25, Romans 12:10
All of these are examples of things that we can do to grow in our faith. We call these practices Spiritual Disciplines, they are simply the things that Jesus taught his followers and modeled for us in His life on earth. They help us to grow in our relationship with God, because they help us to focus on Him and spend time with Him. These are not things that we attempt to master in order to prove how great of a follower we are or how “good of a Christian” we are.
The end goal of spiritual discipline is not a “better Christian”. The end goal is, and always should be a deeper relationship with our Creator, Savior, and Friend.