A new year is also a great time to develop some habits to keep you spiritually strong, and maybe get rid of some old tired habits, thoughts, and ideas that weigh you down spiritually.

1. Is there dust on the Bible?

The easiest way to give yourself a spiritual boost and learn about God is to read His book. Three chapters a day and by the end of the year you will have read the whole thing.

For those new to Bible reading, I would suggest starting with the New Testament, and it’s fine to skip all the “begats” the first time through. Also don’t worry if you don’t understand every word you read, right away. I’ve noticed understanding comes with time and familiarity, and the passages you really need will jump right off the page at you.

2. Is prayer a daily thing, or only used in times of trouble?

Daily prayer reminds us where our strength comes from, and brings us closer to God. And it doesn’t have to be more than a quick, “Thank You and be with me,” so long as it’s heartfelt.

(A small warning: If you start to pray daily, you will find that your prayers get longer, after a time. It’s wonderful and fine, but you will have to plan accordingly.)

3. Is it a prayer or a wish list?

A trap many of us fall into is treating God like a vending machine. Don’t forget, when you pray, to praise Him and thank Him for all of the good things in life. Remember prayer should be a conversation, not just a list of the things you need.

All prayers are answered, but sometimes the answer is, no, and sometimes it’s, wait. Remember, He can see down the road, and knows what’s best.

For Biblical instruction in prayer refer to Matthew 6:5-15

4. Am I making God too small?

He is the creator of the universe, all knowing, and able to be everywhere at once. He can handle all your problems and fears, and even your anger. He is interested in the day-to-day affairs of your life, and wants you to share them with Him.

Jeremiah 32:27 “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?”

5. What about Church?

No, you do not have to attend church in order to be a good Christian, but in Matthew 18:20 the Bible says “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

There is great comfort and power involved in gathering with others of like faith. The “big secret” is finding a good church. Not a perfect church, because once you add people, perfect goes out the window.

Things to look for:

a. Is the gospel being preached?

b. Is humility the prevalent attitude?

c. Is the church reaching out and making the community a better place?

d. Is there love?

Don’t be afraid to do a little church shopping in order to find the right fit, for you.

(A note on tithing: It is the Preacher’s job to teach the congregation about tithing, and it’s a good, solid, biblical principle. That said, if anyone ever suggests you will get rich by giving enough to the church, do not walk, run away as fast as you can!)