Sometimes going back to everyday life after all the excitement of the holidays is challenging. The newness of 2016 is over and now it's back to school, back to everyday chores, and back to normal life. I used to try to start out every year with ideas of what I wanted to accomplish. Hoping to work harder, to get more done, to be a better person. But after a while the newness wears off, life gets busy and soon I don’t feel like using energy to do my best, even in the little things. The other day I read that about 45% of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions and that only 8% of people actually keep them. I guess a lot of people have the same problem!Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that way. God has given us in His word everything we need for “life and godliness” and the scriptures mention over and over how to live a fruitful life. Here are a few verses that I have come to love that encourage me to strive to do my best.Do it in Christ - “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in Him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5) We can do nothing apart from Him. We can have good intentions and good ideas. But if we really want to make a difference it has to be in Him. Spending time in His word and in prayer is a vital part of our relationship with Christ.Do it for God’s glory - "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Corinthians ) My life is not my own and when I am doing things for God’s glory it gives me a special desire to do my best.Do it Joyfully - "The Joy of the Lord is your strength." (Nehemiah ) Whatever you set your hands to do, do it in joy! Joy can only be taken away if our focus is in the wrong place. Knowing what God has done for me through Jesus Christ gives a peace and joy that really does give strength to carry on even when I’m tired.Do it Willingly - “Whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…For I have given you an example that you should do as I have done to you.” (Matt 20:26-28, John ) A lot of doors are opened just by being willing to serve others. I’ve read books about missionaries and heard so many stories of people that had a huge impact for the gospel by serving those around them.Do it Faithfully - “The one who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much.” (Luke ) It might seem that the tasks are little and insignificant, but maybe God is using them to prepare us for something greater. Be faithful in all things!My prayer for all of us is...“That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and long-suffering with joy.” Colossians 1:10-11
We here at Grace Engaged have been so blessed by Hannah's blog contributions and the entire Wissmann Family's love and devotion to the Lord. If you would like to connect with them, view their schedule of concerts, or purchase their music (which we highly recommend), you can connect with them at their website, on instagram, or on their Facebook page. Thank you Hannah for your beautiful blog post contributions this year! You are a blessing!!