Posted by Bill Merritt

As we say goodbye to 2014 and welcome 2015, I am eager to see what God has in store for each of us! Each year we face new challenges, triumphs, joys and sorrows. We look back on 2014 and reflect on the good and the bad and strive to make the upcoming year better by learning from our mistakes and building on our successes.

A common tradition that many people undergo at the beginning of each year is to make New Year resolutions. Typically people will make resolutions to live healthier lives by exercising more, eating less, and taking part in activities that reduce stress. Others may strive to get a new job, travel more, or spend more time with family. In reality, a resolution is nothing more than establishing a goal.  What happens probably more times than not, we tend to drop the ball because we fail to set our mind on that goal, and then fail to take action to accomplish it.

I want to challenge you make some resolutions that will have both an immediate and eternal impact! Paul tells us in Colossians 3:1-3, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”  Therefore we are to ‘set our minds’ on Christ and the practical pursuit of spiritual goals. First and foremost, you must have Christ in your heart; otherwise your works are in vain.

There are a multitude of spiritual goals you could set for yourself such as spending more time in daily prayer, reading your Bible more, and sharing your faith. I am often reminded of Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”  The Spirit, which dwells within every believer, gives us the capacity/ability to show forth His fruit. We all struggle at times to show forth these qualities the way God desires us to.  I challenge you to set your mind on God and God alone and you’ll be surprised by the fruit demonstrated in your life.

What are some practical ways to accomplish this?  Well, what you fill your life with is what is bound to overflow. Therefore, spend time in prayer and in God’s word and ask Him to change your focus from worldly matters to more heavenly matters. Spend time in community with other believers. Listen to, watch, or read God-centered preaching, books, music, and programs.  Daily reflect on the gospel and grace and mercy you’ve received.  Share what God is doing in your life with others. Remember, it’s not about you and your desires, but rather what God desires to do in you and through you!  What will your goals be this year?