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Put Your Plans Aside and Start the New Year This Way

As we open a new calendar year, many of us are reflecting over the previous year and making plans for the year ahead.

There is just something about the blank slate of a new calendar year that makes you want to start fresh, get organized, and be intentional with your time.

We inevitably turn our eyes to doing.

We want to:

This is all really good stuff.

As Donald Whitney says in his book, Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health,

“Where eternal life through Christ does exist, there should be not only health but also growth” (page 14).

“We are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Ephesians 4:15).

We are created in the image of God, and we are created to glorify Him.

To know Him. Walk intimately with Him.

All of this got messed up in the garden, but God made a way for His purposes to prevail – the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

But remember that God created us as human beings, not human doings.

It is in Him that we find our motivation for doing.

Choosing Bible reading plans, setting goals for personal growth, and resolving to do things a little differently this year are all good things, but we must not neglect the most important thing – simply being in Christ.

So before you get started this year with your grandiose plans, be still before the Lord.

Read the Gospel of John in the New Testament. Soak in the words of Jesus for a little bit, especially chapters 14 and 15.

I particularly like to meditate on John 15:5:

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

We tend to get a little swept away this time of year.

We get swept away into doing good works and forget to simply abide in Him.

He is the vine.

We are the branches.

Apart from Him we can do nothing.

Set your beautiful new planner aside for a moment.

Yes, even the Made to Give Life Planner. 🙂

Pull out your Bible and simply soak in His words for a little bit.

You don’t have to journal. You don’t have to do an intensive Bible study.

Just simply read through the Gospel of John and be in His presence.

Then, pull out those plans and maybe use a guide to help you set up your new year for His glory.

But don’t set another goal or make another plan until you have simply sat with Him. I promise you won’t regret it. 

What about you? What are you most excited about this year? What do you like to do at the turn of a new year? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

When you’re ready to sit down and make a plan for your new year, I have something that can help.

The Made to Give Life Planner is designed to help you get from where you are now to where you’re made to be.

Click here to learn more, or visit my store for other resources to help you be more intentional in the coming year. 

This post contains my affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy here.

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  1. Happy New Year! Great post. Our sermon yesterday was about how important it is to give God the first of everything, the first of your day, your week, your month and your year. What a great reminder to start the year off right.

  2. Yes…great idea. Now you made me read John again. We just finished it last year in BSF but now I feel I need to go back and read it from this view. 🙂