Voices of Faith: New Year’s resolution for Christ

We’ve probably by now heard others or thought yourself a few thoughts on making a good New Year’s resolution for 2016. My mom was great about encouraging our whole family to come up with at least one serious resolution for each new year. We made resolutions to spend more time doing our homework or watch less TV or keep our rooms picked up, things like that. Mom wanted at least one positive resolution by New Year’s day to make a positive change in our lifestyle that would improve who we were.

I see in myself things have not changed a lot over the years. Even if I haven’t made a conscious resolution, I have certainly thought about it by New Year’s Eve.

Benjamin Franklin said it best, “If you fail to plan for the future, you are planning to fail in the future.” That seems motivation enough for me to do some serious thinking and planning for the future. I find that making more time to plan out each day is a good idea too. Often times when planning for the day, things come up and I have to change my plans, but I can usually accomplish one or more of things planned for the day. How about you?

The future is a huge mystery for me. Long term planning is even more of a mystery and very crucial I think, like planning a vacation trip or a business trip. You need to have everything planned before you leave, schedules organized, read up on the places you are planning to visit and stay, make reservations for the places to stay at each destination, rent a car and book round trip seats on an airline before your departure date. Packing for the trip, that really needs some thought. All of this takes time organizing and time planning. We need time to do all these things properly, don’t we?

In our spiritual life, we need to also make plans for our future. Each day, we need to feed our spirit man, as much if not more than our natural man. Jesus said, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Matt 4:4.

Daily bible reading is always good for a Christian person. When is the best time to feed the spirit man in us each day, especially if you have a busy schedule like most people I know, including myself?

I find early in the morning is best for me when it’s really quiet. My mind is usually really quiet in the early morning so this is my best time of the day. To give Jesus the best time of our day is a good thing.

A good friend of mine, Ken Cox of Kenai, he inspired me to get up early. Ken told me that he gets up at 4:00 a.m. so he can spend time alone with the Lord before going to work. He said that doing his devotions early like that made his day always go better for him.

At first, I thought 4:00 a.m. was impossible. I tried it taking Ken’s advice and I’m glad I did. I discovered that going to bed earlier made getting up earlier much easier. Some days I hit the snooze or take a day off from getting up so early, but not often. I do find that 4:00 a.m. is a very good time to get up.

Jesus helps us plan our future in so many ways. I didn’t always think about my spiritual future until I nearly drowned when I was 19. That was a close call for me, especially when I hadn’t planned for my spiritual future. I had lived my life pretty carelessly, only thinking about myself and what kind of pleasure I could experience each day. I hadn’t thought about how long eternity really is and where I would spend my eternity. At 19, my eternity, had I died then, would have been straight to hell. I was not planning for heaven at all, not even giving it a thought, just fun and games for myself. My near drowning was a wake up call for me, to say the least.

There are three things that Jesus told me through the Holy Scriptures that made me take my eternal destination planning serious. One, the most important is, “Seek first the Kingdom of God…” Matt 6:33. If we don’t have a vision of Heaven, what it will be like, how can we plan our lives for the future, the big future, eternity? I don’t know of any other book, nor any other religion on earth other than Christianity that offers a very descriptive picture of what Heaven will be like other than what we can read in the Word of God. The Holy Spirit describes in detail through many of the writers of the Holy Bible, exactly what to expect in Heaven and how to get into Heaven. It’s not that hard to find out about heaven. If I can do, anyone can. Just google heaven in the bible.

Secondly, Jesus said after telling us to “Seek first the Kingdom of God,” he said “and His Righteousness.” Over the years of reading this verse, I have come to realize that understanding “His Righteousness” is talking about having an intimate relationship with the King of Heaven, Jesus Christ himself. That took time to sink in what to do to find “His righteousness.” It was so simple, a third grader could have told me, “Spend time” with the King of Heaven! Reading the bible, praying, fellowshipping with other Christians and spending time alone in the closet, or quiet place with Jesus, Intimate time with Jesus.

The third thing I realized was, what Jesus did for me to make it even possible to spend eternity in Heaven with Him. I realized Almighty God needed a perfect sacrifice for my sins. I realized that Jesus Christ made that perfect sacrifice for me, to cleanse me of my sins while I was still a sinner so that I could be on His guest list for Heaven for eternity. I needed to be on the Lamb’s Guest Book of Life. The last part of this very powerful verse in Matt 6:33, Jesus said,”Then all these things will be given to you.”

So, seek first the Kingdom of God, (Heaven)God’s righteousness, (found in relationship with Christ) and all these things will be given to you, (The Kingdom of Heaven and all that comes with Heaven, forever and ever.)

This year, plan on giving your best to Jesus and seek first the Kingdom of God, and draw closer than ever to Jesus and then begin to accept the Kingdom of Heaven as your eternal destination, and Jesus will come to get you when the time is right. Then, you will find that living out the rest of your life here on earth, no matter what happens here, is a huge Joy! May the Kingdom of Heaven be yours. The benefits are out of this world.

Mark Conway lives in Sterling with his wife Maryna. You may contact Mark by visiting his website, www.endtimedays.org.

More in Life

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: Downtime

Now here we are, two-thirds of the way through the longest month of the year

Robert “Bob” Huttle, posing here next to Cliff House, spent the night in this cabin in April 1934 and mused about a possible murder there. (Photo courtesy of the Huttle Collection)
Twists and turns in the history of Cliff House — Part 2

How much of the doctor’s actions Bob Huttle knew when he stayed in Cliff House 10 years later is difficult to know.

Achieving the crispy, flaky layers of golden goodness of a croissant require precision and skill. (Photo by Tresa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Reaching the pinnacle of patisserie

Croissants take precision and skill, but the results can be delightful

This 1940s-era image is one of few early photographs of Cliff House, which once stood near the head of Tustumena Lake. (Photo courtesy of the Secora Collection)
Twists and turns in the history of Cliff House — Part 1

Here, then, is the story of Cliff House, as least as I know it now.

Minister’s Message: What’s in a name?

The Scriptures advise, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.”

Visitors put on personal protective equipment before an artist talk by Dr. Sami Ali' at the Jan. 7, 2022, First Friday opening of her exhibit, "The Mind of a Healthcare Worker During the COVID-19 Pandemic," at the Homer Council on the Arts in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
ER doctor’s paintings follow passage of pandemic

Dr. Sami Ali made 2019 resolution to paint every day — and then the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Almond flour adds a nuttiness to this carrot cake topped with cream cheese frosting. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: A ‘perfect day’ cake

Carrot cake and cream cheese frosting make for a truly delicious day off

Minister’s Message: A prayer pulled from the ashes

“In that beleaguered and beautiful land, the prayer endures.”

A copy of “The Year of Magical Thinking” by author Joan Didion is displayed on an e-reader. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Off the Shelf: Didion’s “Year of Magical Thinking” is a timely study on grief

‘The last week of 2021 felt like a good time to pick up one of her books.’

Megan Pacer / Homer News
Artist Asia Freeman, third from left, speaks to visitors on Nov. 1, 2019, at a First Friday art exhibit opening at Kachemak Bay Campus in Homer.
Freeman wins Governor’s Arts Humanities Award

Bunnell Street Arts Center artistic director is one of nine honored.

Zirrus VanDevere’s pieces are displayed at the Kenai Art Center on Jan. 4, 2022. (Courtesy Alex Rydlinski)
A journey of healing

VanDevere mixes shape, color and dimension in emotional show