CHRISTIANS AND NEW YEAR
  Shiju John Samuel, (Associated Editor of Landway News, in Chennai)

The practice of making New Year’s resolutions goes back over 3,000 years to the ancient Babylonians. There is just something about the start of a new year that gives us the feeling of a fresh start and a new beginning. In reality, there is no difference between December 31 and January 1. Nothing mystical occurs at midnight on December 31. The Bible does not speak for or against the concept of New Year’s resolutions. However, if a Christian determines to make a New Year’s resolution, what kind of resolution should he or she make? Some of the new year resolution which Christians can make are listed below;

Pray more

Too many times, while we are struggling, our last resort is to pray.  It should be our first resort, but we often try to fix things ourselves without bothering God.  Then, when we realize that things are not getting better, and are sometimes getting worse, it dawns on us that we should have taken our problem to God first.  In the New Testament, Paul tells us, “…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6). 

Matthew 6:25-34 says “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”).  This past year has had its ups and downs which we have handled in a variety of different ways; some Godly, some not so Godly. However, every time that we purposefully turned the situation over to God, He took care of the situation in a way that far exceeded anything we would have ever thought of…every single time. So in this New Year we want to get our priorities so in tune with God’s will that our every endeavour is in line with what He wants for us. In this New Year let us take a decision to pray than past years.

Read and study the Bible More

The Bible has one Author; it has many writers, but one Author.  From the first page to the last, it speaks to our hearts. “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).  The Bible is the story of everything; it begins with Creation and ends with Eternity. 

John 6:68 tells us that the words of Jesus are the words of eternal life.  There is no other book as important as the Bible.  No book of philosophy, science, mathematics, medicine, or any other human discipline is as foundational to everything as the Bible.  The importance of studying this Word cannot be overstated.  The Bible says that, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…”  (2 Timothy 3:16).  If we want to know God, and please Him, we must study His Word. In this New Year let us take a decision to read and study the Bible more than past years.

 

Love the family more

Too many times, because of our busy schedule we may not get  time to spend with our loved ones.  We get so wrapped up in our jobs, careers, hobbies, even church, that our family time suffers.  However, our families are gifts from God; and we must not neglect these wonderful gifts. Our families, especially our spouses, are our emotional support.  We will experience the difficulty of functioning in the world when things were not right at home.  It is the feeling of having no foundation, the feeling of being adrift without an anchor.  God instituted the family at Creation (Adam and Eve); this shows that He attaches great importance to it; so should we. In this New Year let us take a decision to love our family more than past years.

Take care of health more

As we get older, we should realize that  is not as resilient as it once was.  It also retains more of what we eat than it used to.  If we do not take care of our health, and we are unable to do what God wants us to do, we dishonour Him.  Therefore, we should be diligent to take good care of our health. In this New Year let us take a decision to take care of our health more than past years.

Evangelize more

We have to present the case for Christianity to those who need to hear it. Mathew 28:19-20 says “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” This command is for every Christians. Therefore as Christians it is our responsibility to do evangelism. In this New Year let us take a decision to do evangelism more than past years.

Be a better employee

Every day, more and more we should realize how blessed we are to have a job.  Therefore, we should strive to live out our faith at the workplace in order to honor God.  We are witness for Him wherever we go, and we spend a great amount of time at work.  Those who know that we are followers of Jesus are watching us.  Some hope that we will remain true to our faith; others believe that it is only a matter of time before we fall.  Nevertheless, eyes are watching us and we should represent our Saviour the best we can.  Philippians 2:15 says we should be, “blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world”

Conclusion

While stepping in to a New Year many people all over the world will make New Year’s resolutions.  Many will be good resolutions such as to stop bad habits, be nicer to people, or lose weight.  However, there is one resolution which stands above all others, and that is to resolve to put one’s trust in the saving work of Jesus Christ.  To do so results in the most wonderful change imaginable to one’s life, both now, and for eternity.

For those of us who know Jesus as our Savior, I would encourage each of us to take stock of our Christian walk to see if we are ‘walking worthy’ of our Lord (Ephesians 4:1; Colossians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:12).  If we are not, maybe it is time for some ‘Christian New Year’s Resolutions’. May the good God help us to live a better life in this New Year.  Amen.

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