This is always such an exciting time of the year. The new year always brings with it the hope for change.
- We hope to be healthier
- We hope to build healthier relationships
- We hope to read more
- We hope to spend more time with our family and friends
- We hope to be more disciplined
And the wonderful thing about the new year is that all this is possible. We can make it happen.
But we've gone through enough new years to know that what we hope for and desire is one thing, and what actually happens in the course of the year is another. Unfortunately, for too many of us, the new year will only be much of the same stuff we've been experiencing in the previous years.
What if there was a way to make this new year different? Interested?
In order for 2011 to be different than the previous years, we're going to have to start doing some things differently this year than we did last year. If don't do things differently this year, nothing will change with this new year.
Here's what this means: there are somethings you're going to have to start doing, and there are somethings you're going to have to stop doing if you're going to experience different results for 2011.
I hope you will take the time to discern the things you will need to start and stop doing in the coming year for 2011 to be different.
Here are a few things I encouraged my congregation to consider for 2011.
First - Turn off the television more.
Don’t just sit there wasting your time watching that tv set. Nothing good will come out of that. I am not suggesting that you get rid of tv, but if that’s all you do day in and day out, you’re just wasting your God given life.
The sad reality is that if American Christians would spend just a portion of the time we spend in front of the tv everyday in God's word, every American Christian would be reading through the Bible at least one time a year. If you read 3 chapters a day out of the Bible, you could read the entire Bible in one year. An average reader can read 3 chapters of the Bible in 10-15 minutes.
So turn off the tv more and spend that time with people and with God.
Second, read the Bible more.
Whatever it is that God is going to do in your life in 2011, it won't happen apart from God's word. So read God's word. God has wonderful things in store for each and every one of us. Find out what God has in store by reading his word everyday.
If you read just 3 chapters a day, you will read through the entire Bible this year. Set aside 10-15 minutes a day to read God's word. And don’t tell me that you don’t have that kind of time. That’s just the time for the commercials of one thirty minute sitcom. Make it your goal to make it through the Bible in 2011. God will bless you for it.
Third, read more books.
Make it a goal to read a book a month. In fact, make it your goal to read at least 12 Christian books this year. Most books have about twenty chapters. Most chapters of a book can be read in about 15 minutes. That means if you read just 15 minutes a day, you will have read over 20 Christian books. Do you think that might improve your life next year if you read 20 books on Christian living?
This is your year! Make 2011 the year God begins to do awesome things through your life!