5 Great Ways to Start the New Year

As 2022 came to a close, 2023 began with new promises and possibilities. These first few weeks of a new year mark a time when many of us reevaluate the way we did things in the past in order to change and make life better in the future.

It should come as no surprise that the most common New Year’s resolutions are to lose weight, read more, watch less, or simply become a more pleasant person. All of these are good aspirations, but it’s hard to find the perfect goal that you can stick with till the end. Instead, this list of resources are here to help promote practices that will benefit your body, mind, and soul.

However you choose to carry out the new year, it is our prayer that you will draw nearer to Jesus in 2023.

1. Read Through the Bible

Even though most Christians desire to read God’s Word all the way through, most of us simply haven’t been able to do it. The Bible in 90 Days reading plan is designed to help you do just that, and we would like to challenge you to make 2023 the year you read the Bible from cover to cover. You can sign up to receive the reading schedule and weekly encouragement along the way here. Or, if you prefer to have the print edition, this NIV edition is specially crafted to help you reach the end of 90 days by reading just 12 pages a day.

Though reading all of Scripture seems intimidating, this plan offers a unique benefit. Each day’s reading is achievable and reading through all of Scripture will help you see the big picture of God’s story unraveling through the Old and New Testaments in just three months. Will you take the challenge?

2. Memorize Scripture

Many of us have tried to memorize short Bible verses in Sunday school, but this ambition usually isn’t prevalent among adults. Psalm 119:11 says, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you,” and Paul also writes in Colossians 3:16 to “let the word of Christ dwell in us richly.”

To help you memorize portions of God’s Word, we recommend you listen to this podcast with Aaron House on how to memorize Scripture simply and effectively. You can also get a copy of his book on the topic here.

3. Pray More Consistently

Many of us pray at night as we fall asleep or when we need an immediate helping hand, but God desires that we continually communicate with Him. The trouble is, we so seldom do it.

Sherry Harney wrote a remarkable book on how to make continuous prayer a natural part of our lives rather than something on our daily spiritual checklist. Praying with Eyes Wide Open is a resource for anyone who wants to better understand what prayer is and why we need to do it continually.

4. Take Care of Body & Soul

This wouldn’t be a “New Year’s Day” post if we didn’t have one category on improving our health. But this topic is much more significant than looking better and feeling more energetic. When we take care of our bodies, we are being good stewards of the way we live and serve Christ in this world. Read about the practice of replacing your unhealthy cravings for certain foods with a healthy craving for God with Lysa TerKeurst’s bestselling book Made to Crave. Or simply follow your favorite blog or eating/workout plan to live healthier the life God has given you.

5. Take Care of Your Money

It is no secret that the Bible has a lot to say about how we use the very thing we often feel we can’t get enough of. But that’s the thing–there is always room for us to better handle how we look at the money we earn and what to do with it once we have it.

Dr. Ben Witherington is a New Testament scholar at Asbury Theological Seminary, and he’s paid close attention to what Jesus said and didn’t say about money. Here’s an interview with Dr. Witherington on the topic with links to help you use your money in the coming year the way Jesus would want you to use it. Here’s his book.

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