Finding Faith: Breaking into the New Year

In the biblical book of Haggai 5:1 it tells that the people of God had become careless in their relationship with Him. So, God sent the prophet Haggai to address this situation.

Haggai posed this statement to the people: “Consider your ways!” This pronouncement was to urge them to reflect on some of the things happening to them, and to evaluate their spiritual lives in light of how God expected them to live.

Even those most faithful to God occasionally need to pause and think about the direction of their lives. It’s so easy to bump along from one busy week to another without ever stopping to ponder where we are going, and where we should be going.

As we are in the beginning of a new year it is an ideal time to stop, look up, and get our bearings. To that end, here are some questions to ask prayerfully to God.

1. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year?

2. What’s the most important way you will, by God’s grace, try to make this year different from last year?

3. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?

4. What area of your life most needs simplifying, and what is one way you could simplify in that area?

5. What positive habit would you most like to establish this year?

6. Who is the person you most want to encourage this year?

7. What book, in addition to the Bible, do you most want to read this year?

8. In what area of your life do you most need growth, and what will you do about it this year?

9. In what area of your life do you most need change, and what will you do about it this year?

The value of many of these questions is in the simple fact that they bring an issue or commitment into focus. For example, just by articulating which person you most want to encourage this year, it is more likely to help you remember to encourage that person than if you hadn’t considered the question.

Put these questions someplace where you will see them often … in a day planner, Google calendar, on the refrigerator, etc. — where you can review them more frequently, not just at the beginning of the year.

So, let’s evaluate our lives, make plans and goals, and live this new year with biblical diligence.

Remember that, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage” (Proverbs 21:5). But in all things let’s also remember our dependence on Christ who said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

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Finding Faith is written by area pastors. This week’s column comes from Rev. Don Grant of Hillview Wesleyan Church, Flemington.

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