The Mississippi Baptist Foundation  |  est. 1943  |  Psalm 24:1
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      Did you make resolutions for the New Year? Do you typically have a list of resolutions that are designed for self-improvement and to enhance certain areas of life? If so, do your resolutions truly have a legitimate chance of meeting with success? If your resolutions are like most resolutions and you are like most people that make resolutions for a new year, then likely you have experienced years in which your commitment to these resolutions begins evaporating within the early days of January.     
      Folks may be prone to say something like “There’s always next year” or “Next year will be different” once resolutions are broken. Good intentions, however, are not enough to see these resolutions and goals to fulfillment. Having a framework for organizing and presenting your goals can be beneficial and will go a long way toward realizing success throughout the year.

      Without going into much detail, I have chosen to frame my resolutions and goals for the New Year using the following outline:

  • Faith = Goals focused on matters pertaining to a growing relationship with the Lord including items such as Bible reading, prayer, devotional/quite time, personal soul-winning, etc. Regarding God’s word “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16), “Every word of God is true/flawless” (Proverbs 30:5), “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105), and “Thy word have I hidden in my heart, that I may not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11). I think about the need to “humble self and pray” (2 Chronicles 7:14), the model for praying offered by Jesus to his disciples (Matthew 6), the encouragement to pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:28), and how “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). Acts 1:8 and Matthew 28:18-20 underscore the continual goal of telling others about God’s love for humankind and his demonstration of such love and grace through Jesus’ death on Calvary’s cross.
  • Family = Goals focused on matters involving my immediate and extended family including prayer for, encouragement of, involvement with, learning from, leaning on, laughing with, etc. I’m reminded of Paul’s instructions to young Timothy “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8).
  • Friends = Goals related to being a friend. I’m reminded of the children’s song “Make new friends but keep the old; One is silver and the other gold.” I am reminded further that “A friend loveth at all times” (Proverbs 17:17).
  • Fitness = Fitness goals can focus on items such as time-management, exercise, diet, rest, etc. In his Ephesian letter, the apostle Paul exhorts “Make the most of your time because the days are evil” (5:16). Walking regularly is a 2022 goal of mine. Encouragement to “walk humbly with your God” comes from the prophet Micah (6:8) while a church marquee asserted “When you walk with the Lord, you never walk alone.” Concerning diet, “…whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Regarding rest, the psalmist declared “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty” (91:1).
  • Finances = Goals dealing with personal finance including patterns and habits of saving, investing, and spending. Scriptural truths that are helpful when establishing financial goals in 2022 include “But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth…” (Deuteronomy 8:18), ”Honor the LORD  with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops” (Proverbs 3:9), “You cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:24b), “…God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7), and “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
  • Farm = Focuses on improving my home and utilizing my residence in a God-honoring manner throughout the year. Isaiah prophesied “My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest” (32:18) while Joshua proclaimed “…as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15). I am reminded that homes built upon a foundation of rock are well-postured to withstand the many and various storms encountered throughout life (Matthew 7:25) and “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it” (Psalm 127:1).


Dear Heavenly Father: May I walk closer with you in 2022 than I did in 2021. May I serve you more faithfully this year than I did last year. May I love you more completely in the upcoming year than I did in the previous year.  May I steward my time, talents, and treasure more fully in the days and months ahead than I did in the days and months just completed. May I seek and respond to opportunities to bear witness for you going forward than I did previously. Amen.