Happy New Year!

Have you made a New Year’s resolution? Many people discard the whole idea and say. “I don’t make New Year’s resolutions!” But there is another way to approach the start of a New Year; Pray for God to lead you in a “New Years’ Renewal.” For a number of years, I’ve been using the clean slate and fresh start of a New Year to make a New Year’s Renewal. I pray about what the Lord wants to do in my life and how I can work with him to grow in that area. My New Year’s Renewals always boils down to one thing: More than anything I want to be the kind of person who lives for the One Thing of being devoted to Christ with all my hear. Each year God shows me a problem I need to overcome or something about how I live my daily life that needs to change so that I can get more centered on Christ as my One Thing. This year, more than ever, I want to seek the One Thing that is the best thing, to be more devoted to Christ, don’t you? Of course you do or you wouldn’t be reading this devotion! How do we grow to be devoted to Christ as an expression of love for God? How do we overcome worry or anger? How do we learn to rejoice in trials? Pray without ceasing? Love difficult people? Not by trying hard! That won’t last very long. Or it’ll just make us proud? The way to make a real change-to learn, grow, or heal in any area- is by training. Look to Jesus as your Coach and “work out” with him. “Train yourself to be godly” (1 Timothy 4:7). An important part of any spiritual training program is meditating on Scripture. To meditate on Scripture is more than reading it. And it’s different from studying it. When you mediate on Scripture you pray through God’s Word by applying it to the struggles and opportunities of your life. “Your word, O Lord, is sweeter than honey!” exclaims the Psalmist (Psalm 119:103). May you and I, day-by-day, discover more sweetness in Scripture and use it to live for the One Thing of loving God and loving others as He loves us. (Bill Gaultiere Ph.D