Eph. 2:10 “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
I’ve heard it said that everyone wants to live a life of significance. I think that’s especially true among believers, but then… life happens. Work, family, finances- all of it consumes a portion of our time, and it can seem like we’re not making an impact in the way we had hoped.
I guess you could call this a sort of spiritual complacency. It happens to me, and to many of us. It isn’t ever an intention, but often it can creep into our lives unnoticed – a consequence of failing to be intentional in our spiritual growth.
But you can be intentional about making 2019 a year of significance! And here on the Wake-Up Morning Show, we’d like to help. We’ll roll out a new thought each day, all through the month of January, to help increase your impact at home, in your church, and in your community.
Together, let’s make 2019 a year of significance…
Day 22: This is our final ‘significant’ thought for this 1st month of the year…
And I’d like to use it to just encourage you, one more time, to use this new year to make an impact for the Kingdom of God.
In the 2nd chapter of James, we’re asked, “What good is it if someone says he has faith, but does not have works? “
Let’s do good works this year to elevate the name of Jesus, and make an impact on our families, churches and communities. Look around, see where God is at work around you… then JOIN in!
Remember, we’re praying for you, that you’ll have an awesome year!
Day 21: Engage. Talk to a stranger at the supermarket. Buy a meal for someone holding a cardboard sign.
Do you have neighbors you haven’t met yet? Invite them to dinner. A coworker you don’t really know..? Buy ‘em lunch.
Romans 12:13 tells us to SEEK for opportunities to show hospitality.
If you want the influence to win someone for Christ, you first have to engage with them. Invest in them by showing radical hospitality, and they’ll see Christ in you…
Be significant! Be ready for your next opportunity to engage with someone new… !
Day 20: Take up a new hobby, invite a friend or spouse to take it up with you
It’s important to make time to do something we love. It’s so hard to pour into others, if you’re running on empty! So find something that refreshes you…
Remember that book you bought two months ago that you were dying to read? It’s time to quit using it as décor for your bookshelf and READ it!
That new recipe you’ve been dying to try? CREATE it!
You can even find something that you and your spouse or a friend would like to do, too!
When you find yourself doing what you love, you’ll see how much more joyful you are every day.
Find that time to refresh yourself and make 2019 a year of significance!
Day 19: Journal. Record your growth this year, so that you can look back and see what God did in you, and through you!
In Deuteronomy. 6:12, Moses issued a final warning to Israel just before they entered the promised land, “be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” And so, the Israelites stacked stones in order that they, and their children, would never forget what God had done.
When our kids were little, my wife started writing down how God performed miracles in our family, or how He provided resources just when we needed them, or healed a family member… And since then, when times are hard, she’ll sometimes get out her journal and we’ll be reminded of what a “good, good Father” He is… How, even when circumstances seem dire, we know He’ll be faithful, because He’s always BEEN faithful…
Journal this year. Make notes about His goodness, and His provision. Record your faith journey, and how God is growing you. I guarantee, it’ll be a story worth remembering…
Day 18: Decide to make regular time for something you enjoy
Taking care of ourselves isn’t selfish; it’s necessary to be the best of who God created us to be. Even Jesus knew He needed moments of restoration.
Don’t burn yourself out- even in the service of others. I see this, especially in the women who are a part of my life. They have this awesome instinct to set aside their own needs in order to meet the needs of others, but then forget to care for themselves. Remember when Jesus said, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things… Mary has chosen what is better…”
The answer is different for each of us. For Mary in this passage, it was sitting at the feet of Jesus, soaking in His presence. We all need margin in our lives. So schedule some regular down time, maybe it’s a healthy walk in a beautiful place, or time in a coffee shop with Jesus and a journal… But DO make time to recharge…
Find out more about making 2019 a year of significance… check out our morning show blog at TheHouseFM.com…
Luke 10:41-42 NIV
Day 17: Invite a friend or neighbor to dinner… and then, to church. Remember to follow up.
A recent study by the North American Mission Board (NAMB) and LifeWay Research found that 67 percent of Americans say a personal invitation from a family member would be very or somewhat effective in getting them to visit a church. A personal invitation from a friend or neighbor would effectively reach 63 percent.
Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) are very or somewhat willing to receive information about a local congregation or faith community from a family member, and 56 percent are very or somewhat willing to receive such information from a friend or neighbor.
If you found a job you REALLY wanted, and a manager told you that you had a 60-70 percent chance of being hired… you’d apply. And you’d apply today.
You want a life that’s significant, that makes an impact for the kingdom of God…? Invite someone to church.
Day 16: Disciple a younger believer
I believe this is SO IMPORTANT
As a young believer, you really aren’t aware of the challenges you’re going to face now that you’re a believer.
When I accepted Christ, I had someone from my church pull me to the side and say, “you just made the greatest decision of your life…but it doesn’t necessarily mean things are going to get easier. You’re so passionate about the Lord but you need to know that not everyone will want to hear what you have to say, some people will ridicule or mock you and that’s how it is sometimes…but that doesn’t mean you’ve failed or you should give up…it means that God is using you to plant a seed in those people but it’s not their time yet. God will use you in MIGHTY ways.”
Knowing that this woman was already preparing me for challenges I didn’t even know about yet made me MUCH more confident as I grew. She’d take me out to lunch and I knew I could ask her every question I had and she’d answer it without judging me.
Disciple those young believers, prepare them for the challenges they’ll face, BE THERE FOR THEM and it’ll help you make 2019 a year of significance. -Haleigh
Day 15: Strong marriages impact our kids and our communities. Commit to doing something that will strengthen your marriage throughout the year.
The Bible teaches that marriage is ordained by God and part of His original design for us, as well as a foreshadowing of our eternal relationship with Him.
Start with these 4 things:
Focus on your spouse’s strengths rather than their weaknesses.
Encourage rather than criticize.
Pray for your spouse instead of gossiping about them.
Learn and live what Christ teaches about relating to and loving others.
Is your marriage the God-honoring relationship it should be? In order to strengthen and grow your marriage, it is important to first know and evaluate how it is doing.
We’re proud of our partnership with Focus on the Family, and we’ve provided a link, below, to their free online, marriage assessment. It will help you identify the key areas where you could use improvement and the tools that will help with that. I’d encourage you to use this resource, because we want your marriage to be thriving and healthy in 2019!FOCUS ON THE FAMILY free marriage assessment – https://bit.ly/2S6NiCU
Day 14: As we prepare to make 2019 a year of significance… maybe this is the year to finally forgive.
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:37).
God is saying that it is in our own best interest to forgive! We are the ones who God is trying to protect. We are the ones who receive the most benefit from forgiveness, not the other person. A spirit of unforgiveness complicates and compromises our daily walk with God.
Remember, forgiveness does not justify the deed or the person, but it makes a way for our own healing to begin.
God has called each one of us to do “good works”– that’s what this ‘Year of Significance’ is all about, to make a difference in the world for Him. When we harbor bitterness in our hearts, we just can’t make the difference God intends.
Day 13: Read the bible through this year
How many times have you asked, “What’s God’s will for my life?” or, “What’s God’s will for me in this particular situation?” Well, there is no Bible verse that explicitly tells us what jobs to pursue, where to live or whom to marry. But, by reading His word, we get to know the heart of God…
Paul writes in 2 Timothy, that “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God …” (2 Timothy 3:16). In some translations it even says that Scripture is God-breathed.
His Word, contains His wisdom, His goodness, His intentions, His judgements… His heart. If we’re interested in truly knowing His will, we’ll spend time with Him through His Word…
2 Timothy 3:16
Day 12: Make a change this year that’s good for the environment
Sometimes, as Christians we have this mindset that ‘this world is not our home.’ And it’s true that this world is not our final destination. Absolutely. But for now, and perhaps for many future generations, this IS our home. Sometimes, we see people who idolize the creation over the creator, and that’s not what I’m advocating for. Not even a little. BUT, God has given us stewardship of the earth and all the plants, and the animals, and that’s a much bigger deal, I think, than we sometimes realize.
Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein,”
So be a good steward: recycle, pick up trash in your neighborhood, or a local park… make a positive impact in 2019… on the environment!
Psalm 24:1, Psalm 95:4-5
Day 11: Volunteering
I’m sure at least once you’ve thought, “I’m going to volunteer more.”
But, let’s be honest, time is something SO valuable to us. Most of the time, we feel like we don’t have enough of it to accomplish everything WE need to do for the day, and that’s when the excuses start taking place. I’m certainly guilty of it.
I believe it’s because we all have this view of volunteering with a big organization that will demand a lot of time and effort from us and we are scared to commit because we don’t want to disappoint them.
You can definitely work for an amazing organization such as that, but there’s one thing we tend to forget about that may be a little more in our comfort zone…your church. I guarantee they can find a place for you to help.
Remember, 1 Peter 4:10 say, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
So, take your gift and find an organization that can REALLY use it and begin to make 2019 a year of significance. –Haleigh
1 Peter 4:10
Day 10: Join, or start, a small group/study that makes you think.
There’s something about living in real community with other believers. Say that to some Christians, and they’ll look at you like you’re getting ready to tell them to sell all they own, move to a farm with other families and raise peanuts.
But, Christian community is simply sharing, with other believers, this common life we have in Christ. Doing life together in a group, moves us beyond the superficial social contacts that pass for “Christian fellowship.” It’s a step beyond, “turn and greet someone” at your Sunday morning service.
And I know the difference! I lived most of my life as a Christian, without really thinking about it, in isolation. I had friends at church, but nobody I could call if I was at a low point, or if I wanted to celebrate a victory!
In my first small group, we lost a member to cancer. Don was… a genius. He had a really quirky, engineering mind…funny, nerdy. And his loss was just devastating to us all. But we were able to hold each other, and comfort his widow, and make her a part of our families. You just can’t do that with someone you smile and shake hands with once every Sunday morning…
A small group or Bible study also challenges you and forces you to think thoughts you might not think, left on your own. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”Proverbs 27:17
So, in 2019, join a group, and be a part of a community of believers… and let it challenge and sharpen you!
Day 9: Think of realistic ways to be healthier, then DO them!
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
Listen, this may not be the deepest thought we have this month, but we’re talking about being radically different this year. Praying more, giving more, serving more… This year is gonna take more ENERGY than last year! And there’s a spiritual component to disciplined diet and exercise that WILL pay dividends in 2019. Proverbs 10:17 says, “People who accept discipline are on the path to life.”
We’re not saying you should train for a marathon, or become a bodybuilder- nothing wrong with that, as long as you keep it in perspective… but think of some realistic ways to be healthier this year, moderation in your diet, getting your heart rate up every day… then be disciplined about them. All year long. It’s gonna help, as you make this year, a year of significance!
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Day 8: Be purposeful about serving others
God gives us gifts to serve others. They’re not for ourselves. If someone has the gift of serving, it isn’t so he can serve himself. If someone has the gift of giving, it isn’t so she can go out and buy herself presents. God gives us gifts to USE to bless others.
What if I don’t know what my gift is? Just start serving wherever you can and God will make it clear. Serve wherever there’s a need. As you serve, God will make it clear. Other people will confirm it.
If you’re not already involved in serving others? Look around, find where God is working, then join in! Be significant this year by serving others! –Haleigh
Day 7: Habits. The “Do” follows the “Who”.
We focus a lot on habits during the month of January. How to break a bad habit, and replace it with a new, positive habit. And this is important if you finally want to begin living a life of significance…
Lifechurch pastor, Craig Groeschel has said that one of the main things to sabotage your success in developing these new, positive habits is a negative and distorted identity. He says, “The ‘Do’ follows the ‘Who’. An unhealthy identity creates unwise habits. And, unwise habits reinforce an unhealthy identity!!”
It becomes a vicious cycle of defeat. I think I heard Craig use this example; If you’re trying to give up smoking, and someone asks if you want a cigarette- your response will say a lot about your self-identity. If you say, “no thanks, I’m trying to quit,” you probably still think of yourself as a smoker. If you say, “NO thanks, I’m not a smoker anymore,” then you’ve formed a new identity, and your choices will follow your identity. A healthy identity creates positive habits, and positive habits reinforce a healthy identity.
Remember what the Bible says about your identity. Romans 6:6-7, and 18 says, “We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. 7 For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. … 18 Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.”
So, as you commit to making 2019 a ‘Year of Significance’ remember WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST! And the “Do” will follow the “Who”…Pastor Craig Groeschel, Lifechurch, https://www.life.church/media/habits/who-before-do/
Day 6: Love more…
You may think you don’t really struggle with this because you truly LOVE your family and friends…but what about that guy who cut you off in traffic this morning, do you love him? What about the ‘gossip’ at your church?
The Bible states, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” It doesn’t say, “you shall love your neighbor as yourself UNLESS they’re rude to you” or “UNLESS they push every one of your buttons.” It clearly states to LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR. The Bible also tells us to be like-minded, be sympathetic, be compassionate and humble and (here it is AGAIN) LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
Let’s not just be clanging cymbals this year. Let’s pray that God will fill us with a genuine love for others. Let’s make this year, A Year of Significance! –Haleigh
1 John 4:19-21, Mark 12:31, 1 Corinthians 13:1, 1 Peter 3:8
Day 5: Pray more…
So many of us have this idea of praying to God is being in a totally quiet place, head bowed, eyes closed, speaking all the right words…and that’s what scares us about prayer. If that’s your method of praying then CONTINUE to do it. But God doesn’t care if you’re talking to him while reflecting in silence or while driving in your car, if your eyes are opened or closed (but PLEASE have your eyes open if you’re driving)! He just wants you to talk to him.
Find time this year to pray to him more. If it means just talking to him more as you go about your day, then find that time! If this means getting up earlier or staying up later to reflect and pray in solitude, then find that time. Grab your kids, your husband/wife, best friend and incorporate them into your prayer life more if that helps!
Prayer aligns our thoughts to God’s thoughts. Through prayer, we invite God to have his way in our lives (Matthew 26:39 & 42). Ask God to show you the plan He has for your life this year, and 2019 will be, a Year of Significance!Matthew 26
Day 4: Remember that everyone has a story and needs mercy.
I had a pastor for several years who was fond of repeating the old adage that, “hurt people, hurt people”. And it’s helped me to get a hold of that. That most of the people who hurt others have been hurt deeply and/or experienced real pain themselves. So I find now that it’s easier to deal with people who do something hurtful, by trying to understand THEIR needs…
Now, I’m not trying to excuse bad or hurtful behavior, but hurting people need deep friendships. They need people who will seek to understand them and get to know them. Wanna be significant and make a difference in someone’s life in 2019…? The next time someone does something hurtful, share the unconditional love of Christ with them.Luke 6:36
Day 3: Find ways to have meaningful experiences with family
Steven Cole at Bible.org says, “The Bible is radically God-centered. It’s all about God and His glory. The main reason that you should work through your marriage problems and relate to your children in a loving manner is not so that you’ll have a happy family, although it will almost certainly result in that. The main reason you should work through your family problems in a godly manner is so that God will be glorified and others will be drawn to the Savior.
Worldly people should look at your marriage and home life and marvel at how you love one another. That’s when you tell them the difference that Jesus Christ has made in your life. He gets the glory and, of course, you enjoy the harmony of a happy home.”
Godly families impact communities, and changed communities impact the world. How’s that for significant…?
Day 2: Be less distracted.
Some distractions can’t be helped. Some can. And YOU know the difference. Devices, Social Media, Netflix Series… Do some trimming in the areas that you know are holding you back. By doing this, you create space in your life to make a difference! You’ll free up time, money, and emotional energy, so you’ll be able to take on the service assignments that God brings your way. Eliminate activities from your schedule and expenses from your budget that consume your resources without adding significant value to your life.
Day 1: Decide to meet with God before anyone else today.
And tomorrow, and the next day, and each day this year. When I focus on God first, I trust Him to align my priorities with His. And by taking my mind off myself and my circumstances, and putting my focus on God and loving others, I am embracing an attitude that will bring honor to Him. I’m also more likely to see the “impact-opportunities” he puts in my path when I begin by being sensitive to the author of those opportunities…