What are your spiritual goals for 2024?

Lose weight. New job. More time with family. Less time on social media. A healthier life. Passing papers at University. Start a new side hustle. Clean the garage. Learn a language…

2024 is upon us. It’s that time of year when all the New Year’s resolutions and goals are set. People often set goals like the ones above. New year, new start, new goals! What better time to make these changes than the beginning of the new year?

But for Christians, do we invest the same time and effort into making spiritual goals as followers of Christ? To the person reading this, do you have spiritual goals for 2024? If you do, praise God, that’s awesome! If you don’t, why not? Would having spiritual goals possibly help in your discipleship journey?

Having some spiritual goals for 2024 are great additions to your walk with God. They can provide focus and help start, build, or strengthen godly habits. We see this in the life of Messiah who built strong and consistent habits in his ministry, particularly around prayer (see Luke 4:42, 5:16, Matthew 14:23, Mark 1:35, 6:46 et al). But care is needed too because striving to complete or continue goals should not lead to a mindless, mechanical, or even legalistic following of rules (or goals) similar to what the Pharisees and Sadducees were doing in Jesus’ time.

In Colossians 3:1, 2, the Apostle Paul states: If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth (KJV). Setting good spiritual goals involves many things. But one key element, as Paul writes, is to look at and focus on the things above where Christ is, not to the things below of the earth. The work seek here in verse 1 in Greek means to seek after, seek for, aim at, or strive after. What are we meant to seek after, aim at or strive for? Verse 1 provides the answer – we should seek the things which are above in Heaven when the Godhead dwells. Christians are meant to seek and focus on heavenly things, things that have eternal value (see Matthew 6:19-24).  

The Apostle then doubles down on this emphasis in verse 1 by exhorting the Colosse church in verse 2 to not just seek the heavenly things, but to also set your affection on those very things and not the things of the world or flesh below on the earth. The phrase set your affection is one Greek word – phronéō. Phronéō is a rich word that covers both our logical reasoning but also our affections and the direction and purpose of the heart. It can mean to carefully consider something. Additionally, it means to set one’s mind on, to be intent on or to have a mental disposition for, to keep on giving serious consideration to something, to ponder, to let one’s mind dwell on, to keep thinking about, to fix one’s attention on. Therefore, we are to seek (verse 1) and set our affections, give serious consideration, ponder and dwell (verse 2) on the heavenly or eternal things of God. Consequently, good spiritual goals help us focus on these heavenly things and ideally help us not get completely consumed or distracted by the things of this world below (Romans 12:1, 2; 1 John 2:15-17).

In closing, what could these spiritual goals look like? We give a few practical examples and questions in 3 basic Christian areas that you might prayerfully consider as you develop new spiritual goals for 2024:

1.       Bible reading

a.       Do you have a regular, daily Bible reading plan for 2024? Websites like www.blueletterbible.org have a myriad of wonderful plans to aid your reading.

b.      Have you ever read the entire Bible in one year? Try it family. This is a wonderful goal to keep us consistently in God’s Word.

c.       Have you tried a chronological Bible reading plan? The Fresh Truth crew are big users of chronological plans to build regular Bible reading habits.

2.       Bible study

a.       Carve out (not make) time in your day or week for personal Bible study. This is essential for growing in God and His Word.

b.      Couples/parents – Are you studying as a family unit together? Husbands, are you washing your wives in the water of the Word (Ephesians 5:22-33)? Do you have regular study, teaching, or devotional times as a family unit? Again, God’s Word should be taught in our homes. Don’t just wait for a weekly Sunday School or youth group fix – start at home!

c.       Are you in a good Bible study (ideally connected to your church) that digs into God’s Word verse by verse? Or are you part of a ‘feelings’ or ‘social’ group at church more focussed on earthly/social things and not heavenly matters? We strongly encourage people to join good, solid, Bible focussed studies.

d.      Connected to this – are you in a good, solid Bible church? If not, why not? We encourage true believers to get into solid Bible churches asap!

3.       Prayer

a.       How’s your prayer life? Is it following Biblical models (Matthew 6)? One tip that’s helped one of the Fresh Truth guys is designating specific days to specific prayer areas e.g. Mondays = Family; Tuesday = Friends; Friday = Missions; Saturday = Persecuted Christians etc. Another tip is writing down the things you’re praying for which helps targeting prayers. Try something that helps you set your mind on prayer.


Fresh Truth Ministries

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