It’s a new year. It’s that season in which we evaluate where we have been and where we are going.  Some of us might be a little cynical, thinking, “I always mean to change but never do.”  While others are more optimistic with thoughts of this nature, “I didn’t make as much progress last year as I wanted BUT I made SOME progress!”  The truth is that this coming year has the potential to release the greatest version of YOU!  And, of course, by that I mean the greatest expression of Jesus Christ in and through you!  So I thought I would mention a few things to work on that shouldn’t be too overwhelming.

#1 Work on your Prayer Life.  I know pastors are always saying things like “pray more”, “read your bible” and “find a place to serve”.  Believe it or not, pastors don’t make those statements in order to get more volunteers, nor are those statements mere “church speak”.  We know that there are certain simple actions – disciplines if you will – that pay huge dividends in every area of life. So we can sometimes sound like a broken record but it doesn’t change the fact that prayer is the simplest and most powerful of activities to radically change your situation.

#2 Work on your Bible Comprehension. Spend time WITH GOD in HIS WORD.  Reading your Bible is a great habit, BUT the purpose of the habit is NOT to get your Bible read through in a year.  The purpose of Bible reading is to listen to God’s Voice.  The more you hear His Voice the more confidence you will have in life and the more inner strength you will possess.

If we are honest, many of our struggles come from our lack of self control.  We know we don’t have very much, so we think we just need to have more.  The problem is that when you don’t have something, you just don’t have it. So instead of trying to act like you possess something you don’t, why not get what you need? (Gal 5:22-23)

And, #3 Work on healthy and inspiring relationships.  The main reason we continue to fall short of the victories we desire is that we keep trying to do it alone.  Why did Jesus surround himself with twelve other guys? Why did He have so many friends from all over Israel? Why did Jesus tell us to stick with our church family? (Hebrews 10:24-25)  If you really want to make some changes this year then find your “tribe”.  Either enter into or gather around you the kind of people who will feed your heart and call you UP to a closer walk with God.  And, don’t forget to reach out to those who are hurting.  Giving the blessings we receive ensures that those blessings keep flowing through us in greater measure.

I am sure there are a lot of things you would like to see improve in your life this year.  If you try to take on too much at once, it will overwhelm you no matter how hard you try.  Don’t set yourself up for failure, set yourself up for victory with these simple starts on a great year.

 Happy New Year!