Happy new year! In honor of the occasion, I’ve collected a bunch of articles that will help direct your thoughts (and maybe habits) as you set out into this brand new year.
(Yesterday on the blog: The Bible-Reading Plan I’ll Be Using in 2020)
Kevin DeYoung urges you not to get drawn in by pop culture this year. “I’m not a technophobe. I have a blog, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and enough teenagers in the house to keep me conversant with my fair share of pop culture. I’m not quitting social media. Neither do I think it’s all a waste of time. But honestly, most of it is.”
David Mathis urges you to seize the morning this year. “The Bible never commands the modern ‘quiet time.’ Nor does it specify that we must read our Bibles first thing in the morning. In fact, the concept of Christians having their own copy of the Scriptures for private reading is a fairly recent phenomenon in the history of the church. So, here at the outset of the year, we’re not talking mainly about an obligation but an opportunity.”
And now Tony Reinke tells you how to read more this year. “We will often neglect what we don’t prioritize. And book reading is often neglected because it fails to be a priority; and it fails to be a priority because we have not defined our reading goals clearly. Once we define the purpose of our reading, it becomes much easier to see the practical value of books in our lives.”
And Andrew Roycroft helps pastors think about repentance and resolution in the year ahead. “We can repent of these and a thousand other bespoke sins which we have tailored to ourselves, the silent transgressions and transactions which have dulled our love for the Lord, and made blunt the blessing that might have cut through the lives of those to whom we bear responsibility.”
Jordan Standridge urges you to trust the Bible above your experience in the year ahead. “We have many people who are capitulating on doctrine and theology because of experiences that they have had. Whether it is a sensing that God’s Word is not reliable in certain areas, or whether it is negative experiences that they have faced, we are seeing a trend toward compromise. Unless we are trusting God’s Word and allowing God’s Word to speak and inform our beliefs, we are in constant danger of allowing experience to compromise our trust in Scripture.”
Marshall Segal wants you to consider the importance of sowing bountifully in the year ahead. “If we sow bountifully, we will reap differently. And our God loves to fill (and refill) the cups of those who eagerly pursue him, and gladly pour themselves out for others.”
Dan DeWitt wants to see more gospel and less trolls on social media in the year ahead. “Let’s not take non-essential doctrines and make them our rubric for attacking others using the aforementioned process, or some similar system, for assuming and alleging the worst. Let’s make the gospel our main focus. And let’s give liberty on those issues that are not essential for historic orthodoxy. And above all, for crying out loud, let’s not be jerks.”
Happy new year! Here is a prayer I found in Heart Cries to Heaven by David Campbell. It seemed very appropriate for the start of a new year.
He is a Light for us when all other lights go out.—Tim Keller