By Edwin D. Arceo

Happy New Year to all of Jacob’s Fountain’s readers! It’s the start of a brand new year. It’s the perfect time to start or resume something…hopefully for the better.

Rick Warren said, “God specializes in giving people a fresh start.” So, this is not an article on New Year’s resolutions. This is about looking back and looking forward. It is when we learn from the past that our future can be better. That is why I present to you today five things that you can do to jumpstart your family into the New Year.

  1. Start using a daily devotional. Remember that diminutive book called Our Daily Bread? Millions of people began their day reading it. It was a simple devotional book filled with positive and inspiring stories written by anointed authors to start your day. It gives a daily scripture that you can meditate on and something that God can speak to you. Did I tell that its cheap? It’s not expensive! A lot of people give it as a Christmas gift. Check out those unwrapped gifts and maybe, just maybe, a Our Daily Bread devotional is waiting to be discovered.Let me also suggest these other titles that you can consider to use as a devotional:Experiencing God Day By Day by Henry and Richard Blackaby distributed by our friends at CSM Publishing. You can buy it online at the publisher’s Lazada store HERE.Strength for Today by Dr. Harold Sala published by OMF Literature is also a great way to spend your devotional time with God. Dr. Sala is a prolific writer and book author and his messages are clear and truly inspired by God. Buy it from OMF’s online store HERE.Refreshing Words for Busy Women, Daily Breaks to Recharge Your Souls written by Dr. Sala’s wife Darlene is something that should be on every woman’s bedside, busy or not, to wake up to every morning. Check it out HERE.
  2. Use a different Bible translation. If you have been regularly reading your current translation of the Bible for over two years, maybe it’s time for a “fresher” perspective. Different versions of the Bible were written for different purposes. They have different goals like this one for the popular New International Version, “The Committee’s goals were to produce ‘an accurate, beautiful, clear, and dignified translation suitable for public and private reading, teaching, preaching, memorizing, and liturgical use.'”Switching to a different version will allow you to see God’s Word in a new light. It will give new meaning to your favorite verses and passages. It’s a surefire way of having a better motivation to read your Bible again.Here’ s a list of translations you can consider:
    New Living Translation
    New King James Version
    The Message Bible
    The Pinoy New Testament
    To start, why don’t you download the YouVersion app. You can download from there for free most of the versions of the Bible I outlined above so you can find out which one you will be most comfortable with.
  3. Start a Bible Reading Plan. Today is the best day to start a Bible reading plan. There are so many ways to do this and a lot of resources that show you how. The most basic way is to read it from start to finish. I did that…twice. But you can get bored this way. The Bible Study Tools website has a number of plans that you can check out HERE.
  4. Start OR resume a journal. You need to write down what God is telling you through the devotionals that you read, the passages of Scripture that He leads you to, or while praying. You need a journal for that. You can obviously start with a plain notebook as long as you write but you can also buy themed journals that will suit your personality.
  5. Finally, sit down with your family and write your goals for this year. The start of the year is always a good time to plan. Benjamin Franklin supposedly once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Sir Winston Churchill is credited with another, oft repeated, saying: “Those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.”Did you make mistakes last year? You can correct them this year by careful planning. Make it a habit. Make it your family’s habit. Planning is always a good thing. Over planning is not. So don’t sweat the details. Follow the popular SMART way to plan: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.

Don’t make any resolutions as what is encouraged by talks shows. According to U.S. News, approximately 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February, so the odds are against you. The five suggestions above is very achievable and hopes to help have a more intimate relationship with Jesus. You can start NOW.

Edwin is the Founder and Publisher of Jacob’s Fountain, a website dedicated to publishing content that aims to help a believer’s walk in Jesus and glorifies God in the process.

He also works as the Manager for Merchandise Development at CBN Asia, the producers of the long-running weeknight inspirational show, The 700 Club Asia. He has been working here since 1994. Edwin is also the husband to Emy and a father to his two sons, Ephraim and Edwin James.

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Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash.com