On-Target in 2024: Living in Better Discernment

On-Target in 2024: Living in Better Discernment

At the start of each new year, it’s useful to  review the previous year and then to seek some improvement in the new year. New Year’s resolutions may come and go, but followers of Christ understand that each day is a gift from our God and Father, and we have a responsibility to use the time and opportunities from each day to glorify His name.

In Philippians 1.9-10, Paul prayed for the Philippians: “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.” When our love grows, the result of that growth will be that we are able to discern what is best. How can we grow in discernment? How can we live more “on-target” for Christ in 2024? Here are three biblical resolutions for 2024.

Seek First God’s Kingdom and His Righteousness
We have many choices to make each day, and God expects us to choose Him first. We have physical and emotional and financial demands on our time, but if we seek Him first, “all these things will be given to [us] as well.” When we believe Matthew 6.33, then we can follow Matthew 6.34 more easily: “Do not worry about tomorrow.”

Only Do What Pleases God
Because Jesus was always “on-target” for God in His daily choices and behavior, our lives will be more pleasing to God when we can follow Christ’s example. This is a very high bar on our thoughts, on our words, and on our actions. “I do nothing on my own, but speak just what the Father has taught me … for I always do what pleases Him.” (John 8.28-29)

Keep in Step with God’s Spirit
Paul listed the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5.22-23, noting that these characteristics in our life will not be outlawed. We can live a peaceful and productive life in society when we pursue the fruit of God’s Spirit. And then Paul raises the bar in verse 25: “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Since God and the Holy Spirit will not change, anytime we feel distant from God, it’s because we are out of step with His Spirit.

May God bless our new year, and may we take every opportunity to be on-target for God in 2024.