Bible Studies Devotional Words Of Encouragement By Susan Niswonger / last year Share Tweet Pin Share Yes, I stayed up last night to watch the ball drop in Times Square, welcome in the New Year and share the first kiss of 2016 with my sweetheart. This morning I awoke to the real start of the New Year. The time for excuses is over and the future is now! I have suddenly arrived at the wall of everything I should be doing but put off until the New Year. It’s time for action! The dictionary defines “Resolution” as a resolve or determination. The top 10 resolutions for 2016 are: stop smoking, get fit, lose weight, enjoy life more, quit drinking, get organized, learn something new, get out of debt, spend more time with the family, and help others. Many were also on the list for 2009 and probably all prior years. Number three, six, eight and ten are usually on my list of resolutions. Losing weight is a resolution I tend to make every Sunday night, the last day of every month and after every holiday. True it is usually broken sooner than I plan, but that only brings me back to where I started and the opportunity to start again. Many people are averse to declaring a New Year’s resolutions because they are afraid of failing or from past experience know the difficulty of keeping the resolutions for an extended period of time. I prefer to look at resolutions as goals and I have been setting goals every year since I was old enough to understand that January 1 started a new year. A person who refuses to set goals will never accomplish anything. I would rather set a goal and have to start over or change it, than wander aimlessly with no focus. I can guarantee you that my list will include losing weight, exercising more, becoming more organized and helping others, but my soul yearns for something deeper. This verse in Colossians is my 2016 New Year’s Resolution. Colossians 4: 2-6 “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; 3meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, 4that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. 5Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. 6Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” 2016 Resolutions: 1. Pray earnestly, always careful to be thankful. 2. Ask God daily to show me the hearts hungry to hear His word. 3. Seek for wisdom toward unbelievers and those who are wavering in their faith. 4. Be careful to not waste the limited opportunities I have to share truth with people stumbling in darkness. 5. Let the Grace of God overshadow my words that I may not cause an offense. As I look forward to the year that lies before me, I realize I have 365 days, 52 weeks, 12 months or as my nephew Michael pointed out, 525,600 minutes to walk in any direction and to accomplish anything that I choose. The goals I set and my efforts in completing the goals will determine what I have allowed God to accomplish through me and who I have become on December 31, 2016.