This article was originally published in Edition (9) of Prayer Magazine,  Jan-Mar 2007.

You probably got given lots of new stuff for Christmas, and perhaps one or two of the things you received as gifts had the words ‘new and improved’ on them. Have you ever thought that it’s really difficult for something to be both ‘new’ and ‘improved’?  If it’s new then it can’t have been around before so it won’t be improved, if it’s improved then it must have been in existence before so it can’t be new!

But here’s the great thing- God wants our life to be ‘new’ and ‘improved’. There is a Greek word used in the New Testament which is ‘Kainos’ and its’ exact meaning really is both new and improved. It’s used to remind us that the new life God offers us in Jesus is so much better than what’s gone before, and that He wants to give us something new and fresh.

The start of a New Year is a great time to ask God to do a new thing in our lives. It’s the time when lots if us make New Year Resolutions, but then perhaps a few months or even weeks later, we’ve forgotten what resolutions we made.

TOP TEN NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS FOR TEENAGERS

Researchers found that these were the most popular resolutions each year:

  • I’ll eat more fruit and vegetables
  • I’ll do more physical activity
  • I won’t watch violent TV
  • I’ll help in the community
  • I’ll stop talking negatively
  • I won’t drink too much fizzy drink
  • I’ll learn to handle anger and stress
  • I’ll talk to adults when faced with a tough choice
  • I’ll be careful about the friends I choose
  • I’ll resist the temptation to do drugs and alcohol

Here are some practical tips for you to help make your own resolutions, to make them a great part of your Christian faith, and to help them last throughout the year.

  1. Look back at the last year and tell God some of the things that you are thankful for and some of the things that you are sorry about.
  2. Write down a list of things that you need God’s help with this year.
  3. Spend some time quietly praying to the Lord and asking Him to show you one or two areas that you can make a resolution about (see the examples from young people below).
  4. Write those resolutions down.
  5. Ask God to show you some Bible verses that you can use as prayer promises for the year.
  6. Keep those lists and verses close by- on your notice board, in your Bible, in your notebook.
  7. Commit to read through those lists every week and take action on them.

The Zone asked a bunch of young people what their resolutions were going to be and here’s what they came up with:

My New Year resolution is to…

…Spend more time listening to God each day.

…Get closer to Jesus.

…. Go to church every week.

…..Pray for my friends who aren’t Christians.

….. Sponsor a child through a mission agency.

…..Read the whole Bible this year.

….Work harder for my exams.

….. Listen to a worship song every day.

….Argue with my parents less.

….Save money for my gap year.

…..Be bolder telling people about Jesus.

…..Commit to get physically fit.

…..Pray for my church leaders and youth leaders every week.

….. Learn to play a musical instrument.

If you are looking for a strong and definite way to start the New Year with a resolution before God then you could use the Ignite declaration. It’s a loud statement of Christian living and over 4,000 young people have so far had a ‘holy moment’ with God and committed to the declaration.

Check it out at www.igniteme.org

 

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