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Your Resolutions and God's Kingdom

Seek first [your heavenly Father’s] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
- from Matthew 6:33

Yesterday we encouraged you to pinpoint one thing you’d like to change in 2017 and to take some time to reflect on how to actually make that change possible. Change is healthy and beautiful. A growing Christian should continually experience change. We meet God and learn to rely on him as we seek change in our lives and in our world.

But this presents a challenge to us: healthy change never exists merely for itself and for the benefit of one person. The healthy, wonderful and beautiful changes that we’re seeking in our lives will always connect with God’s kingdom.

Let’s look at an example. Imagine that you wanted to experience more gratitude in 2017. You decide to keep a gratitude journal and write down three things you’re grateful for every day. You want to tell your next door neighbor about your quest to become more grateful because you know she cares about you. And you commit to praying for God’s help along the way. This whole initiative sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

Now imagine if you saw your gratitude quest as more than just a way to help you have a happier life. What if your gratitude quest carried within it a desire to connect you with God’s kingdom and advance his cause in the world? How would that shape your new year’s resolution?

Your experience of gratitude may become an experience of daily thanksgiving to God, acknowledging him as the giver of good gifts. You may develop eyes to see ways that God’s kingdom is breaking through the concrete of this world. You may share your gratitude with others, encouraging them in their good work and directing their vision toward the God who enables every good work.

Every resolution you make in this new year can contain a kingdom component if you are willing to seek it out. Losing weight, reading more, decluttering, taking a vacation, calling your kids … each and every one of these can be used by our heavenly Father to advance his kingdom in our lives and in this world.

For this to happen, you have to be willing to let God lead your life. You must ask him for guidance and direction. You must ask him for help and salvation. You must ask him for power and protection. Let God lead.

How can you submit to God’s loving leadership even as you’re taking initiative to make changes in your life and in this world?

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