How can I help myself make the changes necessary to do things better this year?

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Q: I have considered my failures of this past year. How can I help myself make the changes necessary to do things better this year? -- N.R.

A: People by nature build, tear down, and rebuild. We build our hopes, get disappointed, and then search for renewed hope. That is why we are fond of New Year's resolutions. They are very popular in our culture today, though most are seldom kept. We get busy; we forget; we fail. Making resolutions, though, at least forces us into a moment of honesty about our need to change.

The Bible tells us to examine ourselves before the Lord. When we do this with sincerity, the Lord reveals where we fall short. This turns us back to God and helps us realize that we are incapable of living lives pleasing to Him apart from His help day by day, hour by hour.

The prophet Haggai took inventory, you might say, and reminded the people that everything they have belongs to the Lord. Haggai points out that they are busy making themselves look good instead of glorifying the Lord. Faith in God calls for building from the inside out. There is no sense in working on the outside if the inside is rotten. The message was that they were building on their own works and forgetting the Lord.


Haggai makes no apologies for the repetition in proclaiming the Word of the Lord: consider, consider, consider. "Carefully consider from this day forward..." (Haggai 2:15).

Have we taken inventory lately? Have we considered where we stand with God? Return to the Lord and consider Him -- the One who gives you everything. Build on His foundation. "And in this place," the Lord says, "I will bring peace" (Haggai 2:9, NLT).


(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)




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