Summary: The New Year is a great time to take inventory of your spiritual life and see what areas God may be wanting you to grow in the New Year.
1. Destroy all roots of bitterness by forgiving those who have hurt you and accepting forgiveness from others. Ephesians 4:29-32 “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
2. Do not be satisfied living on yesterday’s spiritual blessings and nourishment. God provided manna for the Israelites in the wilderness in daily portions. They could not save yesterday’s manna for today or it would become spoiled. Neither can we expect to maintain spiritual health by living on past blessings. We must seek the Lord daily. Spend time reading His Word and praying each day to receive nourishment for the day.
3. Make sure God is at the top of your priority list. Mark 12:29-31 “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” Do not allow money, family, your job, your possessions, your entertainment, or any other part of your life to stand in place of God. I saw a little comic depicting a small church with a nearly empty sanctuary. The pastor was commending the small crowd on how spiritual they were for coming to church instead of staying home to watch the superbowl. He evidently had not noticed that each of them had brought a hand-held television to church. This is an example of breaking the first commandment “having no other gods before me.”
4. Let your closest friends be those kind that will positively influence your walk with God. Ps.1:1 says “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of thescornful.” Psalm 119:63 says, “I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.”
5. Seek to live at peace with everyone.
(Romans 12:16-18) Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
6. Commit yourself to serving others.
Philippians 2:1-4 “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”
Philippians 2:14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings.
7. Ask God for a renewed vision for lost souls.
8. Ask God for new opportunities to witness to others.