Since it is now 2017, I thought what better time to share some practical resolutions for the new year than now. No matter where you are in the world, a popular tradition this time of year is to create new years resolutions. A plan to refine and better ourselves with hopes of positive changes. But another popular tradition is not keeping those resolutions. Whether the resolution was to lose weight, read more books, save money or eat healthier, most people either forget about or give up on their resolutions around March.

This year, we are going to change that. I came up with a list of 11 resolutions that you will want to make and keep this year. These resolutions are more than they seem, read into them a little bit and you will find the love of God fill you within all of them.

So, here they are, 11 valuable and Christ-centered resolutions for 2017:

1. Read more 

Don’t read just anything, read the bible more.

Study the living word of God. Get to know the life of Jesus. Understand what he did for us. Develop a deep and meaningful relationship with Christ by being in his word daily. Root your heart in him by growing those roots deep into his word and his love.

2. Lose weight

Lose the weight of sin.

Christ came to forgive our sins, the debt has been paid. There is no reason for us to feel guilt and shame because Jesus came to rescue us from our sins. Lose the unbearable weight of sin that you carry around because you think God cannot forgive you. I’ll let you in on a little secret, He WILL forgive you and he HAS forgiven you. Give that weight of sin up to Christ and he will fill your heart with a greater love.

3. Save money

Save up $5-$30 a month, and donate it to a worthy cause.

Giving brings joy to everyone, those who receive feel loved and valued, and those who give feel joy and happiness. There are plenty of people in the world who need your support financially and spiritually.

Don’t know where to give? Check these non-profit Christian organizations out!

  • World Vision (my personal favorite)- sponsor a child in need for only $39 a month, providing them with food, clothing, education, medical attention, and other basic necessities.
  • Hope International Providing those in need with small loans to start their small business to make the money needed to take care of their family.
  • Food for the Hungry- Sponsor a child for only $35 a month to get them the food and clean water they need to survive.
  • The Salvation Army- Donate to help those in poverty get back on their feet.

4. Donate time

The phrase “money is time” has never been more true. If you don’t have the means to give money, then giving your time is the perfect thing for you. There are so many ways to donate your time, and the majority of them can be found locally!

Some ways to donate your time:

  • making food for the homeless
  • volunteering at homeless shelters
  • mowing the lawn for all of your neighbors
  • volunteering in children ministry
  • free tutoring
  •  picking up trash around the city
  • bringing local police/fire lunch
  • using your special talents to raise money for good causes

Don’t forget that pets need love too!

  • walking all the neighborhood dogs
  • volunteering at the local pet shelter

 

5. Travel more

Travel to “unusual” vacation places.

I know that Hawaii is beautiful, but have you ever looked into the eyes of a little Hispanic child who lives in the garbage dump? That is even more beautiful. Spreading the word and love of Christ will make more of an impact on your life than a snorkling in Hawaii ever will. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing the faces of a Hispanic pastoral couple when you show them their new house that you just built, by hand.

After going on many missions trips myself, I would pick a week playing in the sand with little Ahousaht (first nations community in Canada) kids over a month in the Bahamas any day.

6. Take up a new hobby

Go for it, but what are you going to do with your newly learned talent?

I’m sure there are hundreds of thousands of people who would love your newly knitted scarf. That’s because they have nothing to keep them warm in the winter when they are sleeping on the streets. Or those cookies that you just learned how to make? Go sell them at a bake sale and donate the money to a good cause. Just learned how to sew? Well, sew 1,000 pillow cases and give them to kids with cancer to let them know you care and are praying for them. Learn a new hobby and share it with the world.

7. Learn a new language 

…And use it.

So you just finished your last Spanish class, and you are now somewhat fluent in Spanish, only to find out that no one around you speaks Spanish. Luckily, there are entire COUNTRIES of people who do speak Spanish, and guess what? They need the love of Jesus. Good thing you took a year of Spanish classes, because now you are on your way to go share the amazing love of Christ with people halfway across the world in their own language.

8. Quit a bad habit

The bad habit of not reading your bible or skiping Church every. single. Sunday.

Quit the unhealthy habits that limit your growth and relationship with Christ. These things that hold you back from growing in God, can impact your actions and lead you down a road astray from Christ. This year quit a few bad habits and exchange them for habits that will help you grow closer to Christ.

9. Fall in love

Fall in love with the love of Christ

Learn to appreciate and love the amazing love that Christ has for you. Through his death on the cross, his resurrection, and his continual forgiveness of our sins, Christ’s love is truly an amazing. When we go through times where we don’t feel loved, remembering how Christ loved us can make us feel loved. Fall in love, but fall in love with the relentless love of God.

10. Eat healthier 

Eat the healthy word of God.

No food in the world is healthier than the word of God. Being in the word daily will fill you up like a plate of delicious mac and cheese. Just as good food detoxifies your body of bad toxins, the word of God helps to cleans your heart of sin and temptation. Eat the word of God every day and it will give you a healthy relationship with God.

 

10. Reinvent yourself

But, in the love of Christ.

Become a new person rooted deep in the amazing love of Christ. Rewrite your story with the abounding love and compassion of Jesus. Become a new person satisfied in God, and overflowing with peace and happiness. Share the love of Christ all around you and put on display the amazing changes he has made in you.

 

Although new years resolutions tend to be broken and usually aren’t kept, this year is the year to change that. We can change our hearts to be ones that are deeply rooted in Christ and fully focused on him. This year pick a few resolutions and go for it! After all, only God knows how many days we have left here, so serve him through all your days.

Love,

Karsyn Bryant

 

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