The Bible tells us that God's mercies are new every morning. With each new day we are given another opportunity to experience God's goodness and His power to change our lives and make us more like Christ.
That said, how have you fared in your walk with God in 2017? Can you say that you've become more Christ-like? Or maybe you haven't?
The upcoming year will bring good opportunities for us to know God and be conformed to the image of Christ. If this is true (of course it is), this thought should get you excited, because 2018 is fast approaching and we'd better get ready for it.
Getting ready for 2018
To get you started, here are some faith goals you should set for yourself this coming year. Ask God to help you and empower you with His Holy Spirit. It will be very awesome.
Faith Goals for 2018
1) To have more of God's word
One of the best and most important goals to reach this coming year is to have more of God's word in our hearts, instructing and changing us from the inside out. When we have God's word hidden in our hearts, it brings about amazing changes.
Let's aim to read the whole Bible, meditate on it, and keep it in our hearts daily this coming year.
"Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You." (Psalm 119:11)
2) To obey the word of God
If we desire to love the Lord Jesus Christ, there's no other way to do it than to obey what He says. He said it Himself:
"If you love Me, keep My commandments." (John 14:15)
We can't just read the Bible or listen to a preacher. We ought to obey the word.
3) To master self-denial in following Christ
This is very tough. If we want to follow the Lord Jesus Christ, the very first thing we should do is to learn to deny ourselves.
It doesn't mean we'll punish, beat, or starve ourselves to death. It simply means we will deny ourselves of anything that will hinder, discourage, or distract us from following the Lord Jesus Christ.
"Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." (Matthew 16:14)
What do you have to let go of in order to follow Him?
4) To master the power of saying "no" for God's purposes
The word "no" is probably one of the most powerful words if used according to God's will. Did you know that God's grace teaches us how to use it in the most powerful way?
"For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good." (Titus 2:11-14 NIV)
Let us choose to grow in discernment and learn to distinguish between right and wrong, and by God's grace learn to say no to sin.
5) To love others the way God wants us to
Lastly, we are to grow in our love for others. Married people, desire to love your spouse the way God loves you, and prioritize your marriage with zeal and faithfulness. Single people, desire to love others with brotherly love and purity.
"Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."" (Matthew 22:37-40)