“For this very reason do your best to add goodness to your faith; to your goodness add knowledge; to your knowledge add self-control; to your self-control add endurance; to your endurance add godliness; to your godliness add Christian affection; and to your Christian affection add love. These are the qualities you need, and if you have them in abundance, they will make you active and effective in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 2 Peter 1:5-8 Good News Translation
This is the time of year when we think about making New Year’s resolutions…I will go back to school, search for a new job and the perennial favorite for many…I will lose weight this year. 2 Peter gives us a different spin on setting our New Year’s resolutions. Peter encourages us to set goals that will help us to grow our spiritual lives.
Let me suggest some practical applications:
- Do you need to grow in faith? Ask God if He is calling you to venture into some new ministry that would require you to TRUST GOD! Volunteer to be a worship leader, organize a new ministry group, or begin to visit with someone shut-in.
- How about goodness? Is God calling you to reach out to someone in need? Perhaps you have a skill or talent like carpentry or computers that you could use on a mission trip or at a work camp or with a neighbor.
- Maybe you need to grow in godliness. Is there an area of your life where you need to turn from sin and choose to do God’s will? Make that your goal this year.
- Do you need to grow in your knowledge of God or get to know God better? Perhaps God is calling you to begin a daily devotional time, to be in worship regularly, or to join (and maybe even lead) a small group Bible Study.
- Is there an area in your life where you need to develop self-control? In your diet, or exercising? After all, as Christians, our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, so we need to take care of our physical bodies. Or maybe you need to develop self-control in your emotions, controlling your temper or your bent toward self-pity?
Notice that Peter tells us that if we are Christians, we already have what we need to start growing in these areas. “God’s divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” Through our relationship with Jesus, we know we have God’s power available to us so that we can grow more Christlike.
Many people who make New Year’s resolutions have given up on them within the first three months. But as Christians, we can ask the Holy Spirit to help us persevere. And if you are genuinely serious about keeping your resolution, find a brother or sister in Christ who will hold you accountable! After all we are on the journey of faith together.
Notice also, what Peter says will happen as we grow in these areas. We will be effective and productive for God and God’s kingdom. God will use us in ministry and mission!
So I challenge you to set some Godly goals for 2020!
Grace and Peace in the New Year!