By Neisha Potter
Clash Daily Guest Contributor
Whenever the New Year approaches people generally reflect on the past year and acknowledge moment of bliss, happiness and blessings as well as life’s challenges and decision that could have made the year more desirable. After ruminating over the eventful year, some individual’s establish New Year Resolutions – commitments to make their life better in the coming year.
New Year resolutions are usually well-intended and focus on improving happiness, health and finances, but normally resolutions either fail or lose their appeal before the end of the first quarter of the year. Could this be because you store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal? Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:19-21).
This year I propose a different kind of resolution; an eternal investment. This resolution will not be easier than any other resolution you have ever made, indisputably, it will be the most difficult and challenging resolution you have ever attempted to achieve.
Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels” (Mark 8:34-38).
For believers, I encourage you to be conversant with God’s Word – let his word inspire you and soak into your bones. Allocate time to converse with God every morning, throughout the day and every evening through prayer and studying the written word. How can we draw near to God if we do not know who he is or what he expects from his people? Use this link to download a 52 week daily reading plan and read the entire bible in a year http://www.bible-reading.com/
Develop a more intimate relationship by digging deeper into his word, nature and prayer; lean on the Lord for all your troubles, doubts and fears.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (Ephesians 6:10-18).
Get out of your comfort zone and join a life group (bible study group) and establish fellowship with other believers. Commit to tithing, you’ll be amazed at how tithing feeds the soul with thanksgiving, so have faith and dedicate your finances to the Lord. By trusting Him in ways you have never trusted him before his blessings will undoubtedly overflow your cup.
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it (Malachi 3:10).
For nonbelievers, I encourage you to come to the gospel – come empty and let him fill you with wisdom.
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope (Romans 15:4).
Learn who God is, including His promises, His grace and understand what was and is and is sure to come. Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory (1 Timothy 3:16).
If you do not know what kind of church you belong to I hearten you to explore churches; visit a new church every Sunday until you find where the Lord has called you to hear his word. When you find a church I encourage you to test what you hear against what is written in the bible.
Find a church that teaches God’s word through the use of scripture at the pulpit. Do not take the teacher at face value, but open the bible and compare what is being taught with scripture. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long (Psalm 25:5).
Devote this year to being the year you make an eternal investment in the one true God and Savior; for it is only through the Son that we can be restored to the Father (John 14:6). We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life (1 John 5:20).
Neisha Potter is a married mom of three. Potter graduated from Dallas Baptist University with a BAS in Christian Ministry and Psychology.