Earlier this week I challenged you to take 13 specific actions toward living out God’s truth this year. Here are eight more steps you can take in 2011 to allow God’s truth to change how you live.
1. I will live like the choices I make today will impact my life tomorrow.
God’s truth says, "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life" (Galatians 6:7–8).
The choices you make today will have consequences in the future. Make wise choices today that will produce a good harvest in your life in the future.
2. I will submit to the authority of my parents this year.
God’s truth says, "‘Honor your father and mother’—which is the first commandment with a promise" (Ephesians 6:2).
"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ" (Ephesians 5:21).
When we resist authority, we become more vulnerable to Satan’s attacks and to sin. On the other hand, when we willingly take our place under those God has placed in authority over us, including our parents, we are granted God’s protective covering. Make the choice to submit to the authority of your parents this year out of obedience to Christ.
3. I will get/stay involved in church this year.
God’s truth says, "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:25).
The church matters to God, and it should matter to you. The Bible describes the church as a body. Every part of the body is needed, including you. If you’re not currently involved in a local church, make it your goal to find a church home this year. If you already have a church home, find ways to get more involved and to build up the other members of your local church body.
4. I will seek out a mentor who is a great wife and mother this year.
God’s truth says, "Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God" (Titus 2:4–5).
God created woman to be a helper to her husband and a bearer and nurture of life. Marriage and motherhood are God’s norm for most women. Embracing this truth is highly countercultural. It can be difficult to find examples of women who are gracefully living out God’s calling to be wives and mothers. Find someone near you who is doing these things well, and spend some time with her. Allow God to use that relationship to teach you about His future plans for your life.
5. I will be more concerned about my holiness than my happiness this year.
God’s truth says, "Be holy because I am holy" (1 Peter 1:16).
Jesus didn’t die so that we could live a life for ourselves and our own pleasure, but so we could be free to live a life that pleases Him. Pleasing Him will sometimes require sacrifices. But any sacrifice we make is temporary and cannot be compared with the joy and fulfillment we will gain in eternity. Only through seeking to be holy can we ever experience true happiness.
6. I will add praise, thanksgiving, listening, and confession into my prayer life this year.
God’s truth says, "For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son" (Romans 8:29).
God is more concerned about changing you and glorifying Himself than about solving your problems. With that truth in mind, a balanced prayer life should include more than just asking God to fix your problems. Work to build a relationship with God that is not strictly focused on asking Him to change your circumstances.
7. I will allow God to use difficult circumstances to make me more like Jesus this year.
God’s truth says, "And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast" (1 Peter 5:10).
God is able to use suffering to conform you into the image of Jesus. In 2011, make the choice to embrace hard things rather than running from or resenting them.
8. I will focus more on Jesus and less on myself this year.
God’s truth says, "He must become greater; I must become less" (John 3:30).
The truth is it’s not about you; it’s all about Him. The world was not created to revolve around you. It was created to revolve around Christ. This year look for every opportunity to make your life more about serving Jesus and attracting others to Him.
Your life will be radically transformed this year if you make the decision to 1) know God’s truth, 2) believe it, and 3) act on it. How will you live out God’s truth in 2011? Leave us a comment, and tell us about it.