Commit to a Bible reading plan.
There’s too many Christians who don’t prioritize reading God’s Word. It’s truly a gift to have God’s Word so accessible to all of us and it’s a tragedy we don’t value this gift enough to prioritize it in our lives. So, let’s change that. And, maybe you actually value the Bible, so, for you, let’s continue that trend.
A Bible reading plan could be a structured Bible plan from something like a Bible app, or, if you’re like me, you prefer just picking a Biblical book and committing to reading three-five chapters for something like four days a week. Whatever you choose, make sure to get through the whole Bible in the next year. It’ll be well worth it.
Find a church and begin serving there.
If you don’t regularly attend a church service every week, let’s make 2018 the year we change that. It’s such a blessing to have a church to call home. We were never meant to do alone outside a community of believers (Romans 12:5). We need help to be encouraged, strengthen, and held accountable, among other things.
Don’t just attend a church, but be the Church. This happens when we don’t just go to church as a spectator, but go to church as a participator. Find a small group, fill a need the church has like being a greeting or serving on the audio team or singing in the worship team (or whatever). Churches often partner with local companies that feed the homeless or care for those who can’t care for themselves, so get involved.
Learn to handle conflict better.
This might seem random, in comparison to the others, but it’s crucial, at least to Jesus. He said,
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” – Matthew 5:9
Are Christians really known for peace? I sometimes feel like we are known for all the wrong reasons. I know the world doesn’t hold our beliefs and conflict, in some respect, is inevitable when you’re preaching Jesus as the only way to Heaven (Acts 4:12). However, I feel like we often create unnecessary conflict. It’s even worse to see two Christians, who both confess to follow Jesus, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), fight among each other.
If we can’t handle conflict well, our lives will fall part. Talk openly about the problems you have with people with gentleness and respect. Don’t sweep things under the rug. Deal with them out in the open. Listen when people speak. Make compromises. Make changes. Blessed are the peacemakers, so be a blessing.
Branch out of your comfort zone more.
The lives of Christians are meant to be lived outside the comfort zone. You might have been taught all your life that Christians are meant to be good little boys and girls, who did what they were told and never strayed from mommy and daddy, but there’s more to live than just living within walls of the comfort zone. However, the Holy Spirit is commonly called the Comforter, which brings up an interesting point.
Logically speaking, in order to receive comfort, we must require comfort. However, if we stay in a comfort zone, we have no need for comfort, since we’re safe and sound. So, it’s only when we step outside our comfort zone where we experience true comfort. So, step outside the little box you’ve lived in all your lives. I’m not saying to act irresponsible or unethical. I’m saying to listen to where you feel the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, is directing you to go. Don’t be afraid if you feel like He is directing you to go somewhere you don’t normally go. Trust God’s direction and He’ll give you comfort, strength, and hope.
Make 2018 the year where you make Jesus the greatest priority in your life. Whether that means you have to make big changes or little changes, everyone can improve on keeping Jesus on the throne on their heart. So, let’s make 2018 the year you keep Him there.