Devotions

Replace your New Year’s resolution with…

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Light for the Way devotional series

We invite you to peek inside our weekly Light for the Way devotional series provided for staff.

By Campus Pastor Steve Hoffer, Presbyterian Homes of Bloomington

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.” —Philippians 3:13-14, NIV

How are you doing with those New Year’s Resolutions? You know … those changes we decide to make when we begin a new year. We reflect on our life, decide what needs to change and make a resolution about changing. Simple … right?

Some statistics show that only about 8% (yes … 8) of people actually succeed at following through on their New Year’s resolutions. And by the second week of February (just a few weeks away), a full 80% of resolutions have failed.

Does the Christian faith ever feel that way? Christians are supposed to be good at so many things … loving God, loving others, giving, praying, reading the Bible consistently, worshiping regularly … the list is a long one and can feel overwhelming. How can a person grow in faith or in any endeavor? Especially if we don’t want our efforts to become like 80% of New Year’s resolutions … failed.

When I first started getting into fitness several years ago, I remember going to the gym. That first day, had I tried to bench press 250 pounds, I would have failed … miserably. No amount of effort on that day … no amount of will power … would have enabled me to lift 250 pounds, no matter how hard I tried. So, trying hard doesn’t always work.

Now, several years later, I still can’t bench 250 pounds, but I can lift much more than I could that first day. And it isn’t because I tried harder … it’s because I trained consistently.

Spiritual disciplines are those things that help, over time, live as Jesus taught and modeled for us. A person can grow in faith, not because they just try harder, but because they train consistently. And a person doesn’t have to tackle every discipline all at once. Pick just one thing … whatever you feel drawn to … and start there. The point isn’t to try harder … the point is to train consistently. Little bits … every day … grow to make a difference over time.

May God bless you and your training!

About Pastor Steve Hoffer: I joined PHS in July 2021 as the pastoral care director at Presbyterian Homes of Bloomington. Previously I served as the senior pastor of Roseau Evangelical Covenant Church in Roseau, MN. I currently live in Plymouth, MN, with my wife Mary. We have 4 adult children and 1 grandchild with another on the way this year … another grandchild, that is.

The Light for the Way series provides staff with an examination of a biblical reading to deepen our focus on scripture. Thank you for engaging with this series as we seek wisdom through prayer and reflection as a Christian Ministry.

Find more in the Light for the Way series:

To face the future united
We are God’s Beloved
Get to know us: a Christian ministry
Introducing Light for the Way, a new devotional series

In addition to Light for the Way, you can find reflections, devotions, music and other resources on the Pastoral Care resources website.

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