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What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

As we look ahead to the new year, many of us will make resolutions. Unfortunately, most resolutions will remain unfulfilled, with the majority abandoned within the first two weeks.

Instead, as we look ahead to 2018, I want to encourage  you to look at five questions. If you will wrestle with these five concepts, you’ll be well on your way to an amazing year in 2018.

Question 1: How Much of My Life Is Devoted to Following God?

Jesus asked in Matthew 16:26: “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

From his perspective, nothing matters more than living for God. Why? He is our creator and the author of life. Without him, life lacks meaning and purpose.

Instead making God a priority for 2018 or a higher priority, what if you made him your number one priority? What if every decision was made based on how it impacted your relationship with him?

Question 2: Am I Serving Others More?

Even Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom (payment) for many. When we serve others, we follow his example.

The New Testament is filled with sayings life it is better to serve than to be served. Yet it is much easier to take the opposite approach, expecting others to do was we wish, whether it is the server in the cafe or the members of our family.

In John 13, Jesus washed the feet of his friends, the act of a lowly servant. Yet he taught his friends (and us) to follow his example. This doesn’t just mean we wash feet, but rather serve the needs of others, whatever they are.

Question 3: What Am I Learning Today?

One of the keys to a fulfilling life is continual learning. This is both the message of the Bible and a trait regularly noted in today’s social research.

This does not mean we need to all take formal classes, but we do need the daily challenge of minds. This can include reading a book, watching an instructional video, or hands-on challenges on home or art projects.

Question 4: What Would It Take to Live to 100?

I’ve told my kids I plan to live to 100. While no one can control how long he or she lives, we can live in such a way as to make it more likely. Instead of eating whatever I want, staying up all night, and being lazy, I exercise, (usually) eat healthy, and schedule decent sleep.

Why? I want to live as long as God wants me to live on this planet. Some of my greatest goals are not to make the most money or a plush retirement, but to live to spend time with my grandkids and maybe even great-grandkids.

Question 5: Am I Prepared If Today Was My Last Day?

One author describes this question as “the bus principal.” If he walked outside and was hit by a bus today, would he be happy with the way he had lived his life. He makes decisions by saying, “But what about the bus?”

I am not quite as morbid, but agree with the concept. I try to live each day as if it was my last. If I did not wake up tomorrow, would I regret the way I lived today? Asking this question every day challenges me to live each day differently, and better..

These questions may help you much more than any resolution for 2018. As you reflect on the past year and look ahead to the next, may your focus shift toward what matters most in serving God and impacting the lives of others.


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Dr. Dillon Burroughs is one of America’s top communicators on today’s Christian issues. He serves as senior writer of The John Ankerberg Show and is author or coauthor of nearly 40 books. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter. He lives with his wife and three children in Tennessee.

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