2015 is coming fast and you might be thinking about making some resolutions. Diet, exercise, less TV, saving more money, and spending more time with family are the top items on many people’s minds as they look into a new year. These are all great ideas. However, I would encourage you to also think about your spiritual life. So, here are 11 ideas for great resolutions. Don’t try to incorporate all of them into your life at once (you will burn out!). Instead, try to find two or three that you think are needed and doable… then go for it!
1) Be a part of a midweek group
This is an easy and fun way to grow in your faith. We have a Midweek Group that meets on Thursday nights at the Strickland’s house at 6:30pm and a new one is starting up on Tuesdays during lunch (12-1) on January 13 at Zoe’s Kitchen in Willow Lawn. (If you can’t make one of these but are interested in starting one at another time, contact me and we will work it out!)
2) Make a prayer schedule
One way to ensure that you are more faithful and committed in prayer is to make a regular part of your day. Some people like to “have coffee with God” first thing in the morning. Others carve out a few minutes at lunch. Just pick a time that works for you and stick to it.
3) Start a Bible reading plan
Have you ever read through the whole Bible? There many plans that will guide you through doing that in a year. There are many other great plans and devotional guides to Scripture. Pick something and do it.
4) Commit to give more
Nothing stretches your faith like sacrifice. Would it be pleasing to God if you committed to giving more to the local church or another ministry? You could make a difference in a number of ways through the resources God has given you.
5) Talk about Jesus once a day
This is simple. Just bring Jesus up. Tell people what God has been doing in your life. Share what is going on in your church. Talk about what you pray about. You would be amazed at how many people are interested and encouraged when you share.
6) Get to know your neighbors
Bake some cookies, knock on the door and say hello. Or invite your neighbors over for dinner. Or really do anything that is kind. The people around us need Jesus, but it is awfully difficult to share Him with people we don’t know.
7) Seek out personal discipleship or a prayer partner
I meet regularly with a mentor and it helps me immensely. I also meet with James (our pastor) to pray every Thursday morning. And in 2015, Jess and I are going to build a habit of praying together morning and night. If you want to take your faith to the next level, connect with someone who can help you grow (if you want to pray with a pastor or another person at the church, let me know!). Timothy had Paul. Mark had Peter. Who do you have to help you grow? Praying with your spouse daily is also a great way to be connected in prayer.
8) Choose a way to serve
Be like Jesus by living like Jesus. He came to serve and you can do the same. Help with students, children, our homeless outreach, music, administrative tasks, organizing events and more. We at Real Life could use your help AND it will please the Lord.
9) Sing louder in church services
Here is the deal: it doesn’t seem like you mean what you sing if you don’t sing like you mean it.
10) Start a prayer group at work
Start showing up 10 minutes early or start having a 5 minutes prayer time during lunch or a break. Invite others to join you. And ask if people would like for you to pray for them. This is a great way to encourage, reach out and build a habit of prayer at the same time.
11) Ask for help when you need it
If you are struggling, stop struggling on your own. Get help from people who love you. We want to support you in any way that we can. You can get assistance at the Real Life Help Center if you need counseling or support.
And once you have chosen a resolution or two, tell someone and ask them to keep you accountable. 2015 will be a great year if we are all moving closer to Christ together.