A 2024 Resolution Worth Making
Did you make a New Year’s resolution for 2024? If so, how’s it going? How many people do you think have failed to stay disciplined for even just three days?
Is change important? Is commitment essential? Of course! But I’m not a huge New Year’s resolutions person.
I love celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, or any milestone—and often, I go over the top for an occasion, large or small! So, I think marking a date on the calendar is significant and worthwhile.
But the reality is that few of us will radically change because of a single moment of resolve. Sure, one or two dramatic upheavals or opportunities might change the trajectory of our lives forever, but for most of us, our existence takes place in the 10,000 little moments of everyday life.
Mundane moments. Unnoticed occasions. A process of slow transformation.
For followers of Jesus Christ, the promise of redeeming grace doesn’t rest its hope on isolated, extreme moments of change.
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.”
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16).
You and I live in little moments, which means that we need to submit our hearts to God in those little moments—little desires, little words, little actions, little sacrifices.
If we constantly look for the next big moment or opportunity, it might cause us to devalue and miss the “small-change” grace that is new every morning, day by day.
So, if you want to make a New Year’s resolution for 2024, make it this: commit to living in the little moments of everyday life and looking for the small-change grace that is yours in Christ.
It is incredible to consider that God would love us so much that he would work unrelentingly—morning by morning, day after day—until we finally bear the image of his Son.
What could be better for us than to not only be restored to fellowship with him but also to live in increasing righteousness and holiness?
Sanctification is not a burden to bear but a good gift to celebrate. Yes, we experience difficulties and sacrifices along the way, but unwholesome and dangerous things die in the process, and healthy and God-honoring things grow and thrive.
Along the way, love for the world weakens, and passion for our Lord grows. With each step of growth, idols tumble and true worship of God gains control. With every turn of the road, the allegiance of our hearts shifts a little more toward our Redeemer and his kingdom.
And as we travel, we stop looking back at where we came from and fix our eyes longingly on our eternal home.
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
Paul David Tripp
1. How often have you considered the “little moments” as significant when it comes to life change? What would it look like for you to submit your heart to God in the little moments (little desires, little words, little actions, little sacrifices)? Take a moment to reflect on the areas of your life where God might want to apply his “small-change” grace each day for you and write down those areas. Now ask the Spirit of God to help you change in those little areas of your life that you wrote down.
2. Why do you think change is actually possible in those little areas? Why do you think small changes in your life like increasing righteousness and holiness are important to God? Why is your personal sanctification something that matters not only to God but to you and others around you? Why is your sanctification a good gift to celebrate?
3. If, by the power of Christ in you, the small changes in your life began to form and shape you more and more into the image of Jesus, what specific things of the world would you begin to let go of? Take some time right now to think about the things of the world that you love in your sinful nature and pray that God would help you release your grip on those sinful things that hold you back from increased righteousness and holiness. Now, ask God to help you have an increased love for God-honoring things.
4. Why is your decreased love for worldly things and increased love for God-honoring things an act of worship? What would it look like if worship of God gained control in your life? How are the little changes ones that shift your life more and more toward the Redeemer and his kingdom?
5. What parts of your life do you keep looking back where you came from? What purposeful little changes can you make to help fix your eyes longingly on our eternal home instead of on the things of this world? Pray through Lamentations 3:22-23 and ask God to help you change more and more every new morning into the image of his Son.