Sunday, December 28, 2014


If you’re like me and millions of others, you make new resolutions every year with the best intentions, then fail miserably. Godly goals and plans call for persistent, daily discipline. In other words, self-control.  Paul listed self-control last in his Galatians 5:22 list. Perhaps we should consider it as “last but not least, self-control.” 


New goals

What are your spiritual goals this coming year? In 2015 I plan to rememorize favorite portions of Scripture and to keep Christ’s birth and death, Christmas and Easter, in mind each day. I love Christmas. Not for its sentimental traditions but for its joyful celebration of Jesus’ birth. Bible-centered music, especially, inspires me to worship the baby Jesus who became my Savior. Nature also reminds me of how God’s creation worships Him and shows His character.

I love Easter, too. What joy in knowing Jesus died for me that I might have everlasting life with Him! What joy in knowing that His death was not the end of a sad story but, at His bodily resurrection, a miraculous beginning. Rather than calling it Easter, many of us call it Resurrection Sunday—for good reason.

We can all vow this new year to meditate daily on His continued love and forgiveness. We can remember that when we humbly ask, He will not only forgive and forget our mistakes, but turn them into blessings for ourselves and for others. Many Christians vow to read through the Bible in a year. A worthy goal, to be sure, when pursued with a heart full of love for the Savior, a compulsion to know Him better, and a desire to proclaim His love in word and deed to those around us.

One way to succeed in that goal is to immerse ourselves in His Word. Memorization is an important spiritual discipline. God made it so for His people, the Israelites. They were told to take God’s Words with them wherever they went. They wrote it on their doorposts, on their foreheads, and in their hearts. It became a part of their witness as His chosen ones. Should it be any less for us?

Spiritual strength comes from memorizing Scripture. It brings peace, joy, and obedience. It becomes a supernatural testimony of God’s love because it is “living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12-13)

Great beginnings to memorization include Psalms 1 and 23. Other inspiring Psalms are 34, 91, 100, and 139. Favorite New Testament chapters include 1 Corinthians 13 and James 1. Which chapters or verses will you choose to memorize in 2015?

Lord, thank You for your living Word. Write it on our hearts as we seek to know You better in 2015. In Jesus’ name, amen.  

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