Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2 (ESV)
I cannot point to a Bible verse that tells us to make new year’s resolutions, but the beginning of a new year is a good time for a bit of a reset. It can be a good time to start eating healthier, exercising, learning a new hobby or spending more time with loved ones. It is also a good time for a spiritual reset. The busyness of life has a way of distracting us from our relationship with Jesus. There are many things I could encourage you to do to grow in your faith. These would include prayer, joining a Bible Study, and finding a place in our church to serve.
Those are all valuable resolutions to make, but I’m going to especially encourage you to resolve to read more. Some of you will fight me on this one. You hate reading. However, Christians have been called a “people of the Book” because of how our faith is rooted in the words of the Bible, and we seek to live our lives by it. This means that the Christian life is one of lifelong study. Studying the Bible is how we learn to think and live as God intended. At times, we should read the Bible by itself, seeking to understand what God is teaching us in its pages. Other times, it is helpful to learn from the insights of other Christians. There are all kinds of good books to read that will help you understand Scripture and how it applies to your life.
From time to time, I have mentioned that you can’t trust every resource that is labeled Christian. With so many books out there, it can be overwhelming to know which ones are worth your time. To help with this, I have put together a list called “Pastor Matt’s Picks for 2020.” It includes a variety of resources including daily devotionals and books on the Holiness of God, marriage, parenting, suffering and other topics. Many of these books are ones that have significantly helped me grow in my relationship with Christ, and I trust they will do the same for you. Please let me know if you need help getting a hold of any of these books. Many of them are also available as audio books.