Religion Column

A new plan for a new year

By Kris Estep | Jan 03, 2017

As we find ourselves in the first week in the new year, I’m sure that many of you reading have committed yourself to resolutions of change for 2017. Maybe it’s weight loss, eating better, getting organized, or getting out of debt.

Whatever commitments you have made, I want to encourage you to keep them but also to add some spiritual commitments as well.

First, let’s start the new year with a commitment to prayer.

Prayer is one of the greatest privileges we have as Christians, but also sometimes one of the most neglected. God has given us a special gift in that we can come to him with our praises, needs and desires.

Scripture promises us that God is not only hearing our prayers, but that he answers our prayers as well. What an encouragement to know that when we pray we have one who cares about us and listens. This should encourage us to spend committed time each day talking to God.

Second, let’s make a commitment to read the Bible. This may mean continuing in what you already do or starting a new habit if you do not read the Bible regularly already.

I hope that you will spend time in reading God’s word systematically throughout the year. I know that in doing so you will find great encouragement and spiritual nourishment to help you live out your faith.

If you want to start a Bible reading plan for 2017, it’s not too late. Visit for a wide variety of plans to read through the Bible this year and find one that fits your needs.

Thirdly, let’s make a commitment to listen. God still speaks to us today and he does so through the pages of his word. God has given us the bible so that no matter what situation we may be facing we have a resource to find an answer on how to respond.

Many times people want to know what God’s will is for their life and how to find it. The answer is to read his word so that through his word he can speak and show you. As you pray and then read God’s word, you will begin to hear God’s voice through the pages of his word.

Lastly, let’s make a commitment to respond. Don’t be just a hearer of God’s word, but be a doer as well. As you read, pray and listen, God will open up his desires for your life. As he does, follow after him in obedience. God desires that every Christian be a ministering Christian.

What better way to start off the new year then by finding out where God wants you to serve and then getting busy? A life of obedience to Christ will bring far more joy and satisfaction than any other commitment we might make for the new year.