Q: I’d like to become a better Christian during the coming year, but how can I make it happen? Every year I make the same resolution, but when I look back at the end of the year it doesn’t seem like much has really changed. — B.Y.
A: The first step is to realize that God wants you to grow closer to him and become more like Christ. God doesn’t want us to stand still or grow stale spiritually; he wants to change our lives!
Think, for example, of the Apostle Paul. He was undoubtedly the greatest Christian who ever lived, dedicated not only to telling others about Jesus but committed to his own spiritual growth. And yet he was never satisfied; he knew he needed to become an even stronger and more faithful Christian. He said, “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Philippians 3:12).
The key to our spiritual growth is to make use of the resources God has provided for us. Just as we need food to grow and become strong physically, so we need spiritual “food” to grow and become strong spiritually. And God has provided that “food” for us, by giving us his word, the Bible, and prayer, and fellowship with other believers.
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This year — beginning today — set aside time every day to be alone with God — even if it’s only a few minutes at first. Read a portion of the Bible (perhaps from Psalms or one of the Gospels), asking God to help you understand it and apply it to your life. Then take time to pray, thanking God for his goodness, and bringing your concerns to him. May Job’s experience become yours: “I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread” (Job 23:12).
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or visit www.billygraham.org.