With a New Year, it is a good time to make good goals and reset the things in your life that aren’t taking you towards your goals. It is time for new habits. It is time to put God first and make His desires and goals my goals. It is time to study and pray and draw near to God. It is time to put away habits and fleshly desires that keep you from where you desire to go.
Below are some scriptures and then a summary of things to do to apply them.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 – Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but [only] one receives the prize? So run [your race] that you may lay hold [of the prize] and make it yours. Now every athlete who goes into training conducts himself temperately and restricts himself in all things. They do it to win a wreath that will soon wither, but we [do it to receive a crown of eternal blessedness] that cannot wither. Therefore I do not run uncertainly (without definite aim). I do not box like one beating the air and striking without an adversary. But [like a boxer] I buffet my body [handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships] and subdue it, for fear that after proclaiming to others the Gospel and things pertaining to it, I myself should become unfit [not stand the test, be unapproved and rejected as a counterfeit].
(WuestNT) – Do you not know that those who are running in a race are indeed all running, but one receives the victor’s award? Be running in such a manner as the one who won the race, in order that you may obtain the victor’s award. Everyone who participates in the athletic games exercises constant self-control in all things, those, to be sure, in order that they may receive a perishable victor’s garland of wild olive leaves to be worn as a crown of victory, but as for us a victor’s garland which is imperishable. As for myself, therefore, I so run, in no uncertain manner. I so swing my fists, not as one who, when fighting, misses his opponent, merely beating the air and not striking a straight blow which finds its target. But I beat my body black and blue and make it my abject slave lest somehow, when I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.
Hebrews 12:1-2 – Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
1 Timothy 6:12 – Fight the good fight of the faith; lay hold of the eternal life to which you were summoned and [for which] you confessed the good confession [of faith] before many witnesses.
Philippians 3:13-14 – I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.
So for this New Year, these are some things I will focus on.
- I will run my race that I may lay hold of the prize and make it mine.
- I will restrict myself in all things. I exercise constant self-control in all things.
- I do not run uncertainly and without definite aim. I run in no uncertain manner.
- I do not box like one beating the air and striking without an adversary. I don’t miss my opponent, merely beating the air and not striking a straight blow which finds its target.
- I buffet my body and subdue it.
- I strip off and throw aside every encumbrance and unnecessary weight and the sin which so readily, deftly and cleverly clings to me and entangles me. I put aside the habits of thought and action that have continued to trip me up.
- I will run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race set before me.
- I fight the good fight of faith to lay hold of the LIFE to which I am called.
- I will forget what lies behind and strain forward to what lies ahead.
- I press on toward the goal to WIN the prize to which God has called me.