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"Beginning with God in the New Year," John 1: 1-9; 14-18; Pastor Marvin G Spence

At the start each New Year, we express our desire to improve one or more elements of the quality of our life, such as diet, exercise, financial planning, self-esteem, etc. These resolutions focus on external appearances and popular opinions but fail to focus on spiritual resolutions to become a better Christian. If we change our perspective to align with Jesus' teachings, we will see an improvement in all areas of our life because our motivation is to please the Lord rather than ourself. Let us resolve to fully utilize God's Word to inspire us to use our God-given gifts, resources and talents to represent Christ as our lives connect with others. To successfully to do this we need to take the following essential steps to becoming a better Christian:

1. Make Bible Study vitally important to you-- a daily habit which includes meditation, reflection and life application of its teachings; 2. Allow the Word to be the authoritative guide for your decision-making--in response to any situation, good or bad, major or minor, verbalizing your hope in what your faith has taught you; 3. Visualize the presence of His scripturally promised grace and mercy in response to your answered prayers; and 4. Claim the victory--living as a redeemed, forgiven sinner given a new opportunity to become His disciple. For most of us resolutions are good intentions without follow through, but this time commit with the Holy Spirit's empowerment to be a better Christian.

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