Resolved…

This is the time of year for resolutions and a bunch will be made over the next 24 hours.  Resolutions generally fall into categories of self-improvement, i.e.

“In the new year, I’m going to…

a)     do better at ________

b)     do more _________

c)      do less  _________

d)     start _________

e)     quit __________

f)       improve _________

g)     change __________

h)     finally get around to ____________

i)        _________________”

Sometimes, resolutions come as a set and involve a combination of the above. It’s a combination of determination, a sense of a settled decision or having a firm purpose regarding a particular issue such as physical conditioning, organization, a habit, relationship or way of life.

            The turning of the year is also a good time to reflect on the health of our soul and to plan for growth or improvement there. 

 Here are some questions to consider for reflection:

+ How would I honestly describe or picture the health of my soul today?   How has it substantially changed – positively or negatively—in the past year? 

+ Where do I more closely resemble Jesus…or not?

+ What have I learned about God’s character, promises and ways in my journey through of this year?

+ What has been my highest joy in the Lord’s providence in my life this year?  What has been most troubling or bitter?  What difference have either made in the way I live?

+ Is the gospel of Jesus more or less prominent in my heart? 

+ What Scripture has most captured my heart this year and stuck with me in a transforming way?

+ To what degree do spiritual habits (prayer, Bible reading, fasting, worship, silence, etc.) shape the rhythms of my life?

+ How have beauty and artistry stirred my heart God-ward?

+ How have I been personally involved in Jesus’ redeeming mission in my world this year? 

+ How is my relationship with and commitment to Jesus impacting my

                     a) thinking?

                     b) relationships, particularly with family?

                    c) attitudes?

                   d) emotions and affections?

                   e) speech?

                   f) choices about how I spend my time?

                   g) purity?

                   h) priorities & decision-making?

                   i) spending, saving and giving?

                    j) work or school responsibilities?

                   k) response to the poor?

                    l) dealing with failure, disappointments and screw- ups of mine – and others?

Here are some questions to consider about resolving to grow your soul in 2010:

+ How will Jesus’ gospel become even more dominant in my soul,my thinking, and my daily life this year?

+ How am I going to make sure that God’s Word becomes a bigger part of my life in the coming year? (look at Bible reading plans here and my favorite —“for slackers and shirkers”)

+ How will I grow my mind this year through wide reading & study through a Biblical lens?

 + How will I more consistently embrace a praying life ?

 + How will I grow in passion in worship—both privately and   publicly?

 + How will I nurture the virtues of humility, generosity, gracious  speech, forgiveness and peacemaking?

 + How will I pursue the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control?

 + How will I invite other Christian brothers and sisters to help me  grow more like Jesus?

  + How will I serve and love others in my faith-family?

  + How will I use the resources the Lord has given me—gifts &  abilities, finances, interests, home, possessions, etc.—for the  Kingdom this year?

  + How will I develop genuine relationships with far-from-God people  in my world that lead to gospel conversations?

  + How will I serve the least, the poor, the marginalized and  forgotten in my world?

  + How do I intend to engage my world (neighborhood, work, school,  recreation, social groups, etc) as a missionary for Jesus’ sake?

 That’s a start. 

 Happy new year—and be happy growing in Jesus!

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