A NEW CHAPTER
Christmas is past, and the new year is upon us. And what a year 2016 promises to be. A year of challenge. And opportunity.
Every new year’s sunrise represents the dawning of fresh opportunity.
Have you compiled your list of resolutions yet? Almost half of American adults make resolutions. We commonly vow to lose weight, stop smoking, get better organized and keep better financial records. But consider a few more possible resolutions for the new year.
(1) Go on a TV diet. Turn off the television at least one night a week and do something more constructive. Spend time with your family. Volunteer for some worthwhile community service. Visit a nursing home resident. Read a book. Take a night course at a local college. The possibilities are endless!
(2) Read the Bible through in 2016. Many Christians haven’t completed this worthy task which can be accomplished fairly simply: read three chapters every day and five chapters on Sunday. Why not secure a readable translation and devote a few minutes each day to the study of God’s Word?
(3) Become a faithful supporter of your church. Your church provides services of worship, teaching, fellowship and inspiration every week designed to enrich your life and the lives of your family. Furthermore, the church exists to help people in need through various ministries. The new year can be a time for us to recommit ourselves to the work of the church and make a positive difference in our community. And if not a member, why not join a local church next Sunday and begin a new year in partnership with people of faith?
(4) Spend a few minutes each day in prayer. Pray for yourself, your family, your nation--especially in this election year--and your church. Consider a prayer list to keep you on track.
(5) Get your financial house in order with that first paycheck and begin to honor God with your giving. A significant part of worship is giving him the first and best of our income, and trusting the Lord to direct us in the expenditure of our remaining funds.
(6) Forgive someone who’s hurt you. A grudge is too heavy a burden to carry into the new year. Make a phone call, write a letter or go visit that friend or relative who offended you and make amends.
(7) Bear witness for Christ. Your daily world is a mission field. God can use you where you are to uniquely influence people for good.
The new year is a fresh chapter in the book of life. You, more than anyone else, will determine what will be written there.
What will you write in the chapter entitled “2016"?
Reflections is a weekly devotional column written by Michael J. Brooks, pastor of the Siluria Baptist Church in Alabaster, Ala., and adjunct instructor of speech at Jefferson State Community College, Hoover. Permission is granted to use this material with attribution.