Beyond Resolutions: Habits of Grace for a New Year (David Mathis, Radical Blog)
Cultivating wise habits is not our attempt to work for God’s acceptance, but to work out our salvation (Philippians 2:12–13). In prayer, we re-consecrate ourselves again and again to pursue our resolves “by the strength that God supplies — in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 4:11). How foolish it would be to pour fresh, regular efforts into new spiritual habits without explicitly asking God to make it truly fruitful.
Watch Where You Walk in 2018 (Scott Hubbard, Desiring God)
Therefore, walk in wisdom — seize your days from the devil’s hand. Clutch onto every opportunity in your life, and turn it in a Godward direction. Make a plan for your marriage this year. Go to work on your parenting. Gauge the health of your friendships. In each of these areas of life (and every other), ask, In this part of my life, how can I live like Christ is precious, the gospel is powerful, the Spirit is inside me, and eternity is coming?
New Year, New Beginnings: The Importance of Considering Our Ways (Melissa Kruger, The Gospel Coalition)
If we spent as much time on our knees in prayer as we do on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, what might the Lord do in our midst? Our God can solve what we cannot even begin to comprehend. He is able. May we cry out to him. Some questions to consider:
- How can you set aside time for prayer each day? When is the best time for you to pray?
- How can you incorporate Scripture more into your prayer life?
- What keeps you from prayer?
- Who can you pray for specifically this year to come to faith?
Rescued from Meaningless Resolutions (Jordan Standridge, The Cripplegate)
As we make plans this year to lose weight, grow our bank accounts, or learn a language, let us remember always that if Christ is not in it, or not the reason for it, it is without meaning; but, if he is, not only will it be significant, but it will be eternal.
10 Questions to Consider as You Enter the New Year (Deepak Reju, Biblical Counseling Coalition)
How is your fight against your respectable sins? Maybe you don’t struggle with the high-handed, habitual sins. But we are all sinners, so the “respectable” sins—pride, impatience, anxiety and worry, ingratitude, discontentment, judgment of others, envy, coveting, jealousy—we each face daily. Pick out the sin you struggle with the most. Take some time to consider how you can wage war against it in the coming year. Do you even know what it would mean to put this sin to death? Search the Scriptures, ask a wise friend, and pray about it.
Let the Fear of the Lord Deliver You (Colin Smith, Unlocking the Bible)
There is a Fear that God commands and a fear that God forbids, a fear that builds you up and a fear that tears you down, a fear to gain and a fear to lose. There is a fear that Christ brings and a fear that Christ relieves. The fear that you want to gain is what the Bible calls “the fear of the Lord.” The fear that you want to lose is the fear of anything and anyone else. I wonder what kind of fear you would want to lose? Fear of failure? Fear of other people? Fear of loss? Fear of pain? Grow in the fear of God, and you will find strength to face all your other fears.
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