When it comes to the types of resolutions people make, Americans not surprisingly focus on self-oriented changes.
Among those planning to make resolutions, the top pledges relate to:
- weight, diet and health (30%);
- money, debt and finances (15%);
- personal improvement (13%);
- addiction (12%);
- job and career (5%);
- spiritual or church-related (5%);
- educational (4%).
Personal improvement responses included:
- being a better person;
- giving more;
- having more personal or leisure time;
- organizing their life or home;
- having a better life in general.
While people concentrate on themselves when making priorities for the New Year, it is telling that so few Americans say they want to improve relationships with others or God.
The best New Year’s resolution we can make as a believer is to know Christ more intimately.
This is expressed by Paul in Philippians 3:10.
I love how it reads in the Amplified Bible:
“[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power out-flowing from His resurrection.”
Notice, Paul didn’t say that he wanted to know about Him but to know Him.
Paul desired to enter into a deeper, more intimate relationship with Christ.
What is involved in knowing Christ more intimately?
Three things are important.
The first is spending time in the conscious presence of Christ.
We do this through learning the Word.
The written Word enables us to know the Living Word.
The connection between the written Word and the Living Word is clearly seen in John 8:32 and 36 which says,
“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
“So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.”
When we get to know Christ more intimately through His Word, He sets us free.
The second is communicating with him through prayer.
Whether it is in our quiet time, driving our car, jogging, walking or various moments throughout the day, we find our relationship growing more intimate.
The third is that we need to learn to trust Him more and more.
When we totally depend on Christ as our life, we will see how faithful He is to meet all our needs.
As we get to know Christ more intimately, we will experience “the power out-flowing from His resurrection.”
Most New Year’s resolutions end in failure, but the best one we as believers can make is to know Christ more intimately in 2021.
In 2020, we have had a number of surprises, and we do not know what 2021 will bring.
However, we can determine to spend time with Christ through His Word, by communicating with Him in prayer and trusting Him to live through us.
If we do, we will get to know Him more intimately in 2021!
Pastor Ken Keeler, Director of Church Ministries