Are You Ready for 2016?

A devotional by Reverend Dr. Kevin Schwamb

Whether we like it or not, the passing of Christmas and the arrival of the new year reminds us that life will soon get back to normal.  Decorations will be put away, friends and family will return to their homes, and students will head back to college to resume their studies.  Yet, the start of a new year is also the perfect opportunity to take a personal inventory and set some spiritual goals.  In 2 Peter 3:18 the apostle Peter urged every believer to, “…grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever!  Amen.” 

Although spiritual growth is the work of the Holy Spirit, it requires our cooperation and personal effort.  We must daily surrender to God while applying the practice of spiritual disciplines such as scripture reading, reflection on what we read, prayer, corporate worship, and discipleship.  You can start 2016 off right by finding a Bible reading plan that sparks your interest and will work with your schedule.  A great resource to check out for various reading plans is http://www.ligonier.org/blog/bible-reading-plans.  Once you have determined your plan, find another Christian to help hold you accountable by asking you each week how you are doing and what you have been learning from God’s Word.  Each day, select a key word or principle from your scripture reading and think about it throughout the day.  In addition, ask the Holy Spirit to direct you in how to apply what you are learning so that you will be a “doer” of the Word and not just a “hearer” of the Word.

Spiritual growth, and the practice of the spiritual disciplines, is contingent upon a steady and growing appetite for the Word of God.  Remember there will be days when it will be difficult to find the time to follow through on your commitment, but you will reap a benefit of reward for all your effort!  May 2016 finding you drawing closer to a God who delights in you!  Happy New Year!