Could this be the year you break away from the crowd? The year you begin to see your dreams come true? The year you’ve always prayed for and worked for, but never seemed to be able to achieve?
Every year at least half of all Americans do something that in the beginning is very exhilarating, but in the end very frustrating. We make NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS. According to researchers, the top ten resolutions Americans make every New Year’s Day are:
- Lose Weight
- Manage Debt/Save Money
- Get Physically Fit
- Eat Healthy
- Learn Something New
- Drink Less Alcohol
- Quit Smoking
- Reduce Stress
- Take A Trip Somewhere
- Volunteer To Help Others
The problem is four out of five people who make them won’t get past the end of January before they break them.
So what can you and I do to break away from the crowd; to make sure this year is different from any other year of our lives; to finally have a breakthrough year? Here are some simple yet powerful things each of us can do to make sure this year is different from any other.
- Commit to having a daily quiet time every day. It’s easier to do than ever before with the YOU VERSION Bible App. They have all kinds of Bible reading plans. I highly recommend Psalms and Proverbs. You can listen to the Scriptures while you are getting ready, or read them on your smart phone before you ever get out of bed. YouVersion will even send you emails, chart your progress, and let you catch up. It’s amazing and amazingly simple. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
- Automate and elevate your giving. Jesus said, “where our treasure is, there our hearts will be also.” This is the easiest way to make sure Jesus stays first all year long — automate your giving with online giving through your bank or financial institution. It’s easy to set up and doesn’t cost anything. If you do it now, you can set it up for 52 weeks and be set for all of 2016. Calculate what a tithe is and an offering above that. If you’re serious about having a breakthrough year, seriously consider giving more to God first each week. (Proverbs 11:24-25)
- Automate and elevate your savings. YES, you read it right. By setting up online saving through your bank or financial institution, like your online giving, you will put yourself and your family in a stronger financial position. Again, I would strongly recommend you consider putting more in savings than ever before. (Proverbs 13:11)
- Get in a Connect Group. Nothing significant ever happens apart from a relationship. Each of us needs a support group of godly people who will love us, encourage us, pray for us, and keep us on track to be in the middle of God’s will where we can receive His blessings. It’s more than a slogan when we say, “LIFE IS BETTER CONNECTED!” It’s absolutely true. (1 Peter 4:8-11)
- Start serving somewhere at Crossroads. Jesus said the two distinguishing marks of His disciples would be our love for one another (John 13:35) and having a servant’s heart (Matthew 20:28). Jesus’ own testimony was He didn’t come to be served, but to serve. No one will ever be genuinely happy or fulfilled until they are serving somewhere in the body of Christ.
Those five things aren’t resolutions. They’re decisions that will cause a revolution in your life, resulting in you being able to break away from the crowd that caves in too quickly, year after year, satisfied with the same old routine and the same old results.
This Sunday morning, I’m beginning a brand new series called: “IF: Trading Your If Only Regrets For God’s What If Possibilities!” It’s based on a fascinating book by the same name, written by Mark Batterson. You can get a copy in our bookstore. This new series will be an encouragement to you and every one who wants this year to be unlike any other.
You and I can’t take a break from any of the Five Things mentioned above. If we do, we’re guaranteeing ourselves the same results and the same regrets. That’s why I’m challenging you, and every person reading this, to make the decision to do whatever it takes. We’ve got to do some different things, if we want things to be different.
Break away this year. Break through and have the greatest year of your life in 2016.
Start the New Year off right Sunday morning — putting JESUS first!
© 2015. Barry L. Cameron
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.