Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:1, 2).
As a new year begins, often your mind reflects on ways you can improve. As followers of Christ, we should all purpose to grow in Christian development. Here are four areas to seek improvement this year.
Read the Bible 7 Minutes Each Day
You can always read your Bible for more than seven minutes a day, but set yourself a reachable goal. If you exceed your time limit, great! If you have trouble concentrating set a timer for 7 minutes. Also, if you are distracted, find a place where you can focus. Proverbs would be a practical book to start with in the Old Testament. After Proverbs, begin reading a Psalm or two each day. Then, begin a New Testament book such as Acts or Philippians.
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16, 17).
Set a goal to memorize a verse a month for this year. Ask a church leader or friend to recommend some verses. Also, you might invite a friend or family member to memorize a verse every month with you.
Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You (Psalm 119:11).
Pray for 5 Minutes Each Day
Wow! Praying for five minutes? That’s a long time! Try using the ACTS method.
Adoration – Praise the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit for who they are and what they’re doing in the world, in the church and in your life.
Confession – Ask the Lord to reveal anything in your life that isn’t God-honoring or contrary to the Bible. Confess and forsake any known sin.
Thanksgiving – Thank the Lord for what He’s doing in your life. Express gratitude for how He is meeting your needs physically and spiritually.
Supplication – Ask the Lord for the requests and needs on your mind. Also, pray for the needs and requests of family, friends, your church, and your country. And, pray for anyone you know who doesn’t have a relationship with the Lord Jesus.
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6, 7).
Serve Your Church Family
Have you wondered if there are any needs the church family has that you could pitch in and help? Ask one of the church leaders if there are any areas in the church’s ministry that could use some additional volunteers. And, don’t forget to pray for God’s wisdom and strength in fulfilling any needed opportunities.
23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve (Colossians 3:23, 24).
Bible verses are from The New American Standard Bible, 1995.
Pastor Cecil Price