Welcome to 2023. Time is moving on. We must choose to live each day to the fullest, never procrastinating. We must not hesitate or second-guess ourselves. Rather, we must be disciplined and engage in basic spiritual disciplines of the Christian life. Allow me to suggest several regular disciplines for all of us to practice in 2023.
1) Read your Bible. Multiple Bible reading plans are available to help you read God’s Word all the way through in the next 12 months. This might seem like a daunting challenge, but it’s not. I’ve read the Bible through at least once a year for the past 25 years and more. It only takes 15–20 minutes a day if you follow a one-year plan. Read it out loud at a moderate pace to derive the maximum benefit. Try reading different Bible versions. Read as early as possible in the day. I believe reading the Bible is the primary spiritual discipline in the Christian life.
2) Pray. God speaks to you through Bible reading. You speak to God through prayer. How do you pray? Praise Him for who He is. Thank Him for all He has done for you. Pray for your needs and the needs of others to be met. Dress yourself daily in the whole armor of God. End your prayer by silently listening to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. A day without prayer is a wasted day.
3) Share the Gospel with lost people. Carry a Gospel tract in your pocket. Each day, ask the Lord to bring someone across your path with whom you can share the Gospel. The Lord will answer that prayer! When He does, hand the person the Gospel tract, share your salvation testimony, and then seek to share the Gospel. It’s really that simple. If you’ll fish for souls, God will bring you hungry fish!
4) Get involved in a discipleship group. In discipleship, men should meet with men and women should meet with women. Meet weekly. Study good Christian books. Pray together. Enjoy Christian fellowship. Iron sharpens iron; even so one Christian sharpens another (Proverbs 27:17).
5) Fast. Do without food for the spiritual purposes of prayer, Bible intake, and time alone with the Lord. Anyone can fast for at least one meal. Fasting is God’s spiritual dynamite that destroys Satan’s strongholds. Fasting helps you move more quickly to new levels of spiritual maturity and victory.
These are five basic disciplines to be practiced regularly by every Christian. They are how we discipline ourselves for the purpose of Godliness. They are the foundations for spiritual growth.
Practice them diligently in 2023. Have a blessed, disciplined year.
III John 2,