How to begin 2018 in a way that will please God

Published 1:12 pm Friday, December 29, 2017

In just three days 2017 will come to an end and 2018 will begin. One great thing about the New Year is that it affords us an opportunity to begin our lives with a clean slate by way of true and meaningful resolutions. However, we should not just desire to start out the New Year with a clean slate but we should desire to do so in a way that pleases God; we should seek his teachings and encouragements from His Word. In this way we can build and improve our relationship with God. Consider the following:
First, we should have a renewed commitment to making God the priority in our lives. In his charge to Solomon, David said, “Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God …” (1 Chronicles 22:19 KJV). Joshua said, “… choose you this day whom ye will serve; … but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15 KJV). We need to consider who will serve and this means we need to think about the time we spend each week in service to God, praying to God and consider if we even desire to be with God and His people (Matthew 6:33, Col 3:1-2).
Next, we should have a renewed commitment to making our prayer lives a priority. It is interesting that God’s greatest servants developed a proper prayer life and that the Son of God utilized prayer in His life. Yet many today seem to only pray to God when their lives are in desperation and turmoil. In Matthew 6, Jesus taught His disciples to pray. Many times Jesus prayed to the Father as He did in the Garden of Gethsemane the night prior to His death. Many of the Psalms are prayers directed to God. Paul said, “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17 KJV). So much of the Bible centers on our prayer life because it is through prayer we gain strength and encouragement from God. Those who fail to pray, fail to access the power of the heavenly Father.
Third, we should also be committed to the Word of God. Consider the following passages. Paul said, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Col 3:16). Jesus said, “Sanctify them through Thy Word, Thy Word is Truth” (John 17:17). According to Philippians 4:8-9, we should think on the things we have learned from God’s Word. In essence we should be meditating on God’s Word daily.
Fourth, we should be committed to pursuing Godliness (Philippians 4:7-8). Peter helps us to know that Godliness comes from an understanding of God’s word. (2 Peter 1:3 KJV) “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” As one pursues Godliness they learn to discipline themselves in the presence of sinful desires. O how we need to learn to pursue godliness in our efforts to avoid sin in our lives and thus please God.
Finally, we should begin 2018 with the end in mind. Not only should we have the end of 2018 in mind but we should also have the end of our lives in mind. What do we want the end of 2018 to be like, what do we want the end of our lives to be like? In the end we should have a desire to be closer to God than we are at this very moment. That end is greatly determined by the paths that we follow. The paths we follow are greatly affected by the goals we have and our goals are related to the personal resolutions we make each year. To get where we want to be we must resolve to do it and then follow the Word of God on our daily journey to be closer to God. You can start that journey by worshipping God. If you need a place to worship we invite you to come and be with us at the Centerview Church of Christ at 441 Hatcher Lane, Elizabethton.
(Tony Hoss is minister at Centerview Church of Christ. He can be contacted at 737-2287 or by email:

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