The New Year is here. The celebrations are done, the excitement is beginning to diminish, and soon our lives will go back to normal. This is that time of the year when we make all the resolutions such as: eat less, exercise more, stop smoking, etc. We know that very well. We have been there, done that. But I would like to challenge you with something different. I would like to challenge you to make not resolutions, but NEW COMMITMENTS. Commitments that will change every aspect of your life, inside and outside. Those commitments are not too complicated, nor too hard. They will only require a little bit of discipline to keep them.
You will feel the impact of those commitments in your life. People around you, family, friends, and colleagues, will notice the difference that will occur in you, beginning in your soul and manifesting in your actions.
Try to keep them simple. Do not commit to so many things that you will not be able to do them. Start with baby steps and grow from there. Here are five ways you can change, like each one representing one finger on your hand:
1. Read the Bible
The first one is to read the Bible. It sounds simple, but it is not. Trust me, I know what I am telling you. The Bible is a very big book, and can be intimidating. Most versions have two columns on each page with small fonts, which makes things harder. The other challenge is the translation. Probably you have one Bible in your house. Chances are it is a King James Version, with very little modern English. That complicates the whole thing. Try to find a newer version, such as NIV(New International Version), ESV(English Standard Version), or even the NLT(New Living Translation). On the internet there are many plans that you can use. Every week I will post suggested readings to help you.
2. Improve your prayer life
The second commitment is to improve your prayer life. Start praying on a regular basis in the morning, before the meals, and at night. There are five things that we do in prayer: we praise and worship God; we thank God for everything that He has done for us; we confess our shortcomings and receive His forgiveness; we intercede for people who need God’s help; and we ask for our own needs. You do not need to do all of those things every time you pray, but those steps will help you in your prayer life.
3. Plug into a church
The third commitment is to get involved in a church. I was very intentional when I chose the expression plug into. I am not saying to visit a church or to attend a church. The idea of plug into is deeper than that. You will become part of the church and the church will become part of you. You will receive from the church and you will give to the church. There will be a strong connection between you and the church. Because of that you should be careful about which church you are going to plug into. I understand that shopping for a church is a painful and sometimes long process, but you need to find a fit. so you can worship, learn and serve.
4. Share the good news with someone
The fourth commitment is to share the good news with someone. I know that a lot of people have difficulties with this aspect of the Christian life, but do not forget, this is what Jesus instructed the disciples to do. There is no Christian life without sharing the good news with other people. You can use flyers, internet, videos, conversation, email, etc. There are so many ways to do it that it is hard to narrow down to one. The bottom line is, people need to know that God loves them. They need to know that they cannot save themselves. They need to know that Jesus came to provide salvation for them and connect them to God. They need to know that faith is the means to receive what Jesus did for them.
5. Show the love of God in a practical way
Finally, the fifth commitment is to show the love of God in a practical way. A real Christian life should manifest the love of God through good deeds toward others. You can do this in a personal way. You can do this as you get involved in a church. You can do this with your family. Or you can do this volunteering in one of so many organizations out there that help people. We have no excuses for not sharing the love of God with other people.
Five commitments for the New Year. Be bold and make them. You will experience a tremendous transformation in your personal life and people around you will witness that.
Have a blessed 2013,