‘Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.’


Pastors Bill and Brent Purvis said the way to have your best year is found in the 3R Method: Resolution, Reason, and Routine

My Scripture text above from Psalm 51:10 talks about God renewing a steadfast spirit with us. That simply means, help me be faithful or committed. It means having resolutions.

Steadfast – resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering | synonyms: loyal, faithful, committed, devoted, dedicated

Here are the 6 areas we should resolve to be committed to growth in this year:

Spiritually – 2 Timothy 4:13 says, “When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments.” Paul has been imprisoned and is saying, please bring me these things that are important to me – the cloak, or something to keep my body warm in this jail cell; my scrolls, the writings that kept him mentally sharp; but especially the parchments, which were the Scriptures.

You need to be most committed to growing spiritually this year.

I have always been a big advocate for taking one Scripture or passage and meditating on it all day. When you get up in the morning, read your Word, spend time in prayer, and ask God to show you what you need to meditate on. Sometimes you will meditate on the same Word for days. Others, you’ll meditate on a Scripture for one day and another the next. Don’t be tied to a ‘system’, but be consistent with with Spirit. He will lead you. You’ll know when you’re reading that you’ve found the verse or passage you need to ‘chew on’ for the day.

I recommend keeping note cards by your prayer place (wherever you meet with the Lord) and jot down the Scripture or passage you will meditate on. Then, throughout the day, take out the card and reread it to make sure you’re putting the whole word in your spirit. Remember, James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without find fault, and it will be given to you.” Ask God what Scripture you should meditate on and He will show you.

You won’t have much of a relationship with God without daily communication with Him.

Physical – Proverbs 31:17 says, “She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.” 1 Timothy 4:8 says, “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” We put the spiritual first, but notice this Scripture doesn’t cancel out the need for exercise; it just says it’s not the most important.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

Have balance, but make sure you invest in taking care of your body. Eat better; exercise every day; don’t do anything that harms your body; get plenty of rest (but don’t rest all day); and fuel your body for the work the Lord has for you – or you won’t complete the rest He set before you! (2 Timothy 4:7)

Mental – No matter when you completed school, you should never stop learning. Pastor Teresa Price says, “If something is not growing, it’s dying.” Don’t let your brain lie dormant because you achieved your education goal and have mastered a job. Apply your mind to learn something new all the days of your life.

Jim Rohn famously said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with and I’ve heard that another great influence in our lives are the 5 books we are currently reading. Keep reading, just make sure what you’re reading betters your life. I’m not talking about romance novels or sci-fi thrillers. Invest in your mind and read biographies of people who have done what you’re trying to do in life. Read stories that inspire you in your field or an area of interest.

When I began running, I read books that talked about training plans, how to eat, and marathon mishaps. If you’re not investing in your mind, you will find this world becomes unfamiliar quickly as it continues to move forward, and you begin to shrink back.

‘Success leaves footprints’ – Bill Purvis

Emotional – How you feel emotionally is how you experience life daily.

“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” Galatians 5:16-17

There is a never-ending battle between our spirit and our flesh and we must choose daily, hourly, and sometimes by the minute, who wins that battle. We can have the best intentions and still sin because our flesh wants something entirely different from the spirit within us. You know who is winning the war by the fruit you see.

Verses 22 and 23 continue, “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

If you’re not experience those things in your life, your emotional health is probably a wreck.

Emotional intelligence is a term that has been around for a little over fifty years, but only gained popularity in the last twenty. It basically means someone’s ability to control their emotions and adapt to outside influences appropriately to achieve their goals.  Regardless of man’s awareness of this type of intelligence, the battle between spirit and soul has been with us from the first day we drew a breath. And the more we build up our spirit, the more stable – peaceful, gentle, good, etc. – our lives will become.

Relational – 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.”

The first thing you need to aright in the realm of your relationships is cutting off the dead weight. If someone is not enhancing your life, or you theirs, chances are they are dead weight using up the water and nutrients in your tree that you need to give to someone else.

Don’t ever fear breaking off poor relationships in your life. The faster you do, the more your other relationships will benefit.

The Bible has a lot to say about our relationship to other people:

1 Peter 4:9          “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.”

Romans 12:10    “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”

Ephesians 4:32   “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you.”

1 Thessalonians 5:11       “Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up…”

Ephesians 5:21   “submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

John 13:34           “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love another.”

2 Corinthians 13:11          “Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”

There are many more of these reciprocal commands and I challenge you to not only find them, but ask God to help you with one each week this year.

We were created for connection.

Financially – Ensure God is your authority on money.

1 Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.”

First know that money is not evil, but the love of it is. So, make sure you rule your money so money doesn’t rule you.

Next, learn and operate in the spiritual laws of finance. Tithing is not a suggestion and offerings are not so the church can pay its bills. Malachi 3:10-11 says, “Bring the full tithe (one-tenth, literal meaning; so 5% won’t do!) into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts.”

Did you catch the command? It doesn’t say, when your budget can handle it, tithe; it says to tithe. All other spiritual laws that deal with finances are moot if you don’t first tithe because that is what removes the curse on your earthly possessions – money, fruit of your labor, etcetera.

Kevin O’Leary, known from Shark Tank, has said, “The key to having money is to have a plan for it.”

Habakkuk 2:2, “And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.”

Proverbs 27:23-24 says, “Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds, for riches do not last forever; and does a crown endure to all generations?”

Manage these 6 areas if your life this year and you will have the best year of your life.


Emoji’s, “Cool”, and Hallelujah

Have you ever scrolled back through your messages with a ‘friend’ and discovered that the majority of your conversation was quite lopsided – you did a lot more talking while they gave you an occasional “Cool”, “Yep”, or applicable emoji?


My son was recently sharing with me his discovery that his ‘great friend’ that he has considered his best friend since high school had been quite delayed in his responses lately. Where my son looked forward to his conversations with this friend, we’ll call him Jack, Jack was barely responding within a week.

Now, if they were seeing each other every day or even once a week, sure this would be a ridiculous observation because text messages, e-mails, and Messenger aren’t a good substitute for face-to-face interaction and, truth be told, not everyone is on social media as much as everyone else. However, these boys are separated by thousands of miles and have been since my son moved away right after high school. So their entire relationship is now dependent on these mediums. For the first year, their conversations were that of best friends – sharing important events with one another shortly after they happened with a close-to-immediate response from the other; messaging each other daily just to keep the convo going; and the obligatory “Happy” this or “Merry” that on special days.

Those interactions grew fewer over the years, though, and mainly on Jack’s side. My son said he began to scroll up on his message feed with Jack and noticed something. For the past couple of months, there was only the occasional “Cool” or “Ok” responses to his 3-4 sentences of sharing. Once every couple of days, it was just an emoji response.

I asked him, “How does that make you feel?”

He responded, “Unimportant in [Jack’s] life.”

sad face

Yeah, I think I’d probably feel the same way. You see, we give attention to what is important in our lives. I’ve heard it said that you can tell where your heart is by looking at your calendar and your bank statement. I can’t say for certain, but I am pretty sure Jack has deemed something or someone else more important that his relationship with my son.

So, here’s my question for you – Does God only get an occasional “Yes, Lord”, “Ok”, “Please help [enter family or friend’s name and their need here]” from you these days? During church do you only quietly offer an “Hallelujah” or “Amen” when everyone else does?

Where is your relationship with God? Does He only get emoji responses or prayer requests or do you share your day with Him (and let Him share His with you)? Prayer is a two-way conversation, but many Christians are like Jack – giving God 5 minutes of their day to keep the conversation going, but their hearts are clearly focused on something else.

Make a new habit (one that is life changing) this week and decide to put down the phone or laptop, turn off the TV or game console, or even stop for at least an hour every day from accomplishing your reading list for the year, and invest in the greatest relationship you have- the one where the Creator of the universe and Savior of your soul is emphatically in love with you. Or will you continue to just shoot off your smiley faces at Him and give more attention to something else until a crisis arises and you need Him?