Sow & Gather


How Do We Put God First in the New Year?

Advent, New BeginningsMarci AnthonyComment
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And whatever you do; whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17 NIV

As the days after Christmas tick by, we inch nearer to a new year of promise and prosperity. The previous year is filed away as a mere memory and before we are able to ring in the New Year, we are confronted with that all too familiar question, “What are your New Year’s Resolutions?” If you’re like me, you need a couple of months to settle down from the hectic pace of the Holidays before thinking about your goals for 2017.

Retailers and health clubs are two of the biggest offenders of trying to make us feel guilty about not having resolved to do anything prior to January 1st. I love to work out but I avoid my health club like the plague for the first few months of a new year. It seems as if all of the equipment and classes are full of “Revolutionaries,” people who join a gym in January committing to get healthy and exercise only to quit a month later.  

Retailers are the second offenders, for they advertise even bigger sales after Christmas trying to recoup any lost revenue from the holidays. Retailers want your first thought after the holidays to be about that one gift you didn’t get for Christmas or about that newer model that wasn’t available until after the holidays. It’s as if they think we forgot about the gifts we had just opened three days earlier. Of course, there are those individuals that whatever you give them goes back to the store to be exchanged for something else. I call those people "the after Christmas opportunists." 

Yes, the New Year is full of opportunity, so with all of the choices of where to spend your time and money, how do you decide what you’re going to resolve to do this year? I have a thought the answer might seem obvious but perhaps rarely considered when thinking about New Year’s Resolutions. Pray. That simple word should be our first thought any time we consider action. Yet, it’s the one word we often forget. Colossians says, “And whatever you do; whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus…” We just spent the last two months thanking God for all of our blessings and celebrating His sacrificial gift of His Son, so why, when we are looking at the year ahead, do we suddenly leave Him out of the equation?  

What if, during this year, we resolve to put God first before making a decision?

I wonder what our resolutions would look like if we involved God in each and every choice. How many of our resolutions would we actually commit to follow through with versus falling short and quitting? This year allow God to guide your decision process and see what you are able to accomplish in 2017.

Dig Deeper |

Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 2:10

Action Item |

Whether you like to make New Year’s Resolutions or not, this year in all of your decisions commit to praying. Ask God what His goals are for 2017 instead of asking for your own plans. Make a list of all the areas God wants you to change; things He may bring to mind that He wants you to accomplish this year and keep it by your bible. As you go through the year, look back at the list and see how God has worked in your life.

Prayer |

Heavenly Father, thank you for the blessings and hardships of 2016. Thank you for allowing me to participate in yet another year and help me to be present and willing to follow your direction for my life. Allow Your will to be ever present in my daily living and help me to see areas where I need improvement. Amen.

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