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A Simple New Year's Resolution
Bible study on change, commitment, and love.

This is the first Sunday of the new year, and the time of year people make New Year's resolutions.

Personally, I'm not one to make many New Year's resolutions, perhaps because I quickly forget them and seldom keep them. But this year I'm thinking about making one.

Short and Simple
To make a New Year's resolution I'll remember, it has to be short and simple. It has to be something meaningful that motivates me, while instantly reminding me of things I need to do to become a better Christian.

If you're like me, we need a resolution that's more like a concept, rather than resolving to change specific behaviors.

A Broad Motivational Concept
Love is a broad motivational concept that involves every aspect of life.

Jesus tells us that the great commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. And the second command is to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mk. 12:30-31).

Paul tells us, "Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law" (Rom. 13:10). "Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails" (1 Cor. 13:4-8).

If we love God more, we'll become a better Christian. As a better Christian, we'll improve in every relationship -- we'll become better people, in every way.

Every Christian Can Love God More
Have you thought about the fact that you can love God more today than yesterday?

In Paul's prayer for the Philippians, he revealed that they could love God more. He prayed that their love would "abound still more" (Phil. 1:9). Their love was abounding, but it could abound more and more and more. . . .

There is never a time we can't love God more. Therefore, there is never a time we can't become a better Christian.

Love God More: Increase in Knowledge and Discernment
In Paul's prayer for the Philippians, he reveals how we love God more. He prayed that their love would "abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment" (Phil. 1:9).

Our love for God grows when we increase in true knowledge. "True knowledge" in this verse is epignosis, which results in spiritual maturity as we grow through God's word.

Peter tells us to "long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation" (1 Pet. 2:2). Growing in the word of God, he says "in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 1:5-8).

To love God more, we must grow through His word. The more we grow through God's word, the more we love God as we're "rooted and grounded in love" (Eph. 3:17).

Love God More: Obedience with a Positive Attitude
"For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome" (1 Jn. 5:3).

If we love God more this year, we'll make fewer mistakes while also becoming a better Christian. And, we'll have a better attitude toward obeying God.

A Simple New Year's Resolution: Love God More
Have you thought about loving God more?

  • What can you do to improve your knowledge of God's word, and love Him more?
  • What would change, if you loved God more?
  • Is there anyone who doesn't need to love God more this year?

Whether you're thinking about making a New Year's resolution or setting a goal, think about loving God more through better knowledge of His word. You'll become a better Christian, if you do.