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Pearls of the Kingdom 1/10/2024

As we start the new year we find a sense for a “fresh start”. Some use this new season as an opportunity to start or set some fresh goals. Perhaps some have mentioned they have set some “New Years Resolutions.” Looking at Wikipedia we find:

“A New Year's resolution is a tradition, most common in the Western World but also found in the Eastern World, in which a person resolves to continue good practices, change an undesired trait or behavior, accomplish a personal goal, or otherwise improve their behavior at the beginning of a calendar year.”

So I thought I would Google and see what are some of the more popular “resolutions” to start the year with. A few of my findings; eating healthy, lose weight, exercise more, quit a bad habit, spend more time with family. Maybe you have made a different resolution to start the year with. 

Well it didn’t take long for my curiosity to kick in. I’m wondering is there a list of  “spiritual” resolutions that Christians make to start the year? So I have asked Google again to help me here. My findings are; read the bible, pray, invite a friend to church, be more consistent in church attendance, forgive, read more Christian books, be an encourager. Again, perhaps you have made a different goal for this year.

I sense nothing wrong in setting some positive goals for ones life. I must confess I have made a few of these “resolutions” over the years. My motivation starts out strong but as week two rolls around my determination to follow through decreases. I find myself more discouraged than encouraged when I miss one day. Missing one day becomes missing two days and well perhaps you see the trend here. After I beat myself up for being a failure, my thoughts are “oh well, there is always next year.”

As a Christ follower it is good to have some positive goals. A prize to run after, a goal to aim for. I believe no matter what goals we strive for we need the help of the Holy Spirit. To be honest my flesh is weak and I need someone stronger than I to accomplish my goal to hit the mark and not miss it. 

Isa 40:29 “He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.”

Phl 4:12 ”I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Another important key in helping me in reaching my goal is to have the encouragement of others. Running alone there is no one to cheer me on, no one to challenge me when I want to give up and no one there to help me up when I stumble or fall. We need one another. 

Heb 11:25 “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”

Pro 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend”.

As we gather this year, come ready, be looking, be willing to run or walk along side someone, maybe they’re needing to hear your words of encouragement to stay in the race, keep running the race, don’t give up!

Pastor Jeff

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