According to US News & World Report, 80% of New Years Resolutions fail…by FEBRUARY.
February! If you get a later start, maybe you'll make it to mid-February.
All joking aside and if that’s true, then why do nearly 130 million Americans still make resolutions every year? What’s the point? Why do we “resolve” to make changes in our lives if we aren’t serious about changing? I think the answer is fairly simple:
We want to discover the better life that we know is out there.
Common resolutions include saving money, improving health, traveling more, reading more, or learning a new skill. All of these are attempts to discover a better and more satisfying version of our lives.
And while all of these are fantastic resolutions to make, none of them will improve our lives as much as the one that I believe should top every Christian’s list:
Read through the Bible. All of it.
This is a New Year’s Goal that must not fail. And here are just a few reasons why:
It is one of the primary ways that we encounter God. It should blow our minds that the God who spoke the universe into existence knows and loves us and wants us to know and love him. The Bible is the primary way that God shows us his character and helps us understand him.
As we read and believe, we are transformed. As we encounter God through his written word and believe in Him, we will be transformed more into his likeness. We will grow in spiritual maturity and become more equipped to carry out his mission in the world.
It is the path to true life. God’s word is not just a set of commands, it’s a brightly illuminated path toward true life. The Bible shows us the dangers of the path of sin (suffering and death) and the blessings of the path of obedience to God (joy and life). We’ miss out on true joy and life with God if we don’t read his word.
Knowing it prepares us for when we need it. Sometimes life hits us like a freight train and we aren’t sure how to handle it. The Bible has encouragement, promises of God, answers to life’s biggest questions (like God’s Timing, God’s Wrath, and Where Is God In the Midst of tragedy?) , and instruction that we desperately need for those times. If we aren’t saturating our hearts and minds with God’s word, we’ll be lost and overwhelmed when the freight train hits us.
Jesus didn’t think he could get by without it, so why do we? Tim Keller beautifully says, “If Jesus didn’t think he could handle life without knowing the Scripture inside and out, what makes you think you can?” In fact, when he was starving and alone in the wilderness and being tempted by Satan himself, Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Jesus believed that every word that comes from the mouth of God is more necessary to life than food itself. So what makes us think we can discover a better life this year apart from God’s word?
If you’re looking for a great tool to help you read the Bible this year (and even keep you accountable), I highly recommend the 5 Day Bible Reading Program. You can download an app that sends you notifications, keep track of what you’ve read and still need to read for the week, or download a PDF and stick it in your Bible.
I promise that if you spend time in God’s word every day in 2019, your will experience one of the most meaningful blessed years of your life, no matter how many freight trains hit you. I am confident in promising this because God himself has promised it:
“The rain and snow come down from the heavens
and stay on the ground to water the earth.
They cause the grain to grow,
producing seed for the farmer
and bread for the hungry.
It is the same with my word.
I send it out, and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to,
and it will prosper everywhere I send it.”
Embrace true life this year – read God’s life giving word!