Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Or as we say here at StoneGable, “goals”? Many of us start the New Year with a new slate and want to start off the year changing some of our not so great or healthy ways. It feels wonderful to have a fresh start and to put the past behind us and to strive for new goals in the New Year! As we start the New Year let’s make sure we put the very best  and most heathy goal at the top of our list! Let’s start off the year renewing our efforts and desire to connect with God on a daily basis!

One of my favorite verses in the bible is Romans 12:1-2

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.  

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

This is a deep and oh, so meaningful verse for our lives… especially starting out in the New Year! Paul is urging the saints in Rome, and all of us too, to give ourselves… or lives… over to God. He says that this is the only thing we can sensibly do if we really know all the mercy God has bestowed on us. That God has shown us such extreme grace and the only right response to this grace is to turn our whole selves over in service to the Creator because of what He has done!

He goes on to tell us not to be conformed to this world. Not to buy into the “systems” of this world because they are corrupt. God wants us to be transformed, or changed from the inside out, by renewing our mindset, by knowing Him and His word. But not only having a head knowledge of His word but letting eternal truth seep into our very hearts and souls and make everlasting changes in us, looking more like Jesus. 

God wants us to know His will and do His will. He want us to know what is good and acceptable and godly straight from His mouth. He wants us to grow spiritual and emotional mature.

This is the time of year for fresh starts! For changing our lives for the better. Let’s choose wisely to change our lives from the inside out. 

Will you resolve with me to read your Bible everyday? To talk to God continually throughout the day? Will you LOOK and SEARCH for His hand of blessing in your life continually and praise Him for it? If you make a habit of looking for God you will find Him everywhere!

Connecting with God daily is more important to us than anything! It sustains our starving souls and splashes fresh Living Water on us! When we spend quality time with our Lord we have the energy to live out His world and share that with those around us. And we have enough filling of the Holy Spirit to splash His Living Water on a dry and thirsty world as we go about our day!

Will you set a goal to connect with God every day?

I’m urging you to memorize Romans 12:1-2 and practice it daily. This is the best New Year’s resolution you can make. It has eternal consequences!

Happy New Year dear friends!


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  1. Jean Newbery says:

    Happy New Year to you too! Thank you again and again
    for your beautiful thoughts and encouraging words.

  2. What a wonderful way to start the New Year. Thank you for so much inspiration. Do so enjoy your Sunday message. All the best to you and your family in 2016.

  3. I can’t think of any better words or thoughts to start the new year with. Thank you for posting ad heading us all in the right direction.

  4. Thank you, thank you !!! Happy New Year!

  5. Omgosh, you and God have perfect timing. My husband’s grumpy and I’m unmotivated because of it, he thinks everything is my fault? so I’m being lazy and that ads to my frustration. So I’m intentionally avoiding the Bible and God? It’s wrong headed I know? But now I’m going straight to that Romans verse. Thank you for getting me back on track!!!! I love your blog! I always open it first on email ♡♡♡

  6. Mary Jane says:

    did you go to church with me this morning? This is the second time I have heard this message today, even the exact same scripture reference Romans 12 1 and 2

  7. I memorized this as a child as lead by my Mother who taught me many Bible verses. Our pastor invoked the congregation this morning to “shine the spotlight on Christ” this new year in whatever roles we have.

  8. Thank you for your words are well said. And encouraging

  9. marian karas says:

    I hope your Christmas was full of Joy, an I wish you a Blessed New Year. Thank you so much for the time you take to speak an encourage me an others as well. The Lord has gifted you. I have been a Christ follower for many many years but I have become very stagnant in my walk, when you have some extra time can you please tell me where you would start. I have my devotionals every morning, and pray thru out my day, however, its my Bible reading time I struggle with. So can you please suggest where to start in my Bible. I would love to hear from you…. thank you so so much

    1. I always tell people to start with the book of John. It’s a beautiful picture of Jesus as SON OF GOD. Here are a couple of other suggestions.. pray before you open the word of God and ask the Holy Spirit to be your teacher. Go slow. Ponder and meditate on the word. Also get into a good bible study that studies the Word of God in depth. I love Precept Ministries and you should be able to find one in your area. Hope this helps, Marian!

      1. Marian Karas says:

        Thank you so much for your suggestions. I love the book of John so I will begin there and see where the Lord leads from there… My church offers classes on the Precept Ministries(Kay Arthur) once a year so I will check that out when it comes available.. Thank you so much…

  10. I will Yvonne ! Thank you so much for the message of eternity!

  11. Avis Cooper says:

    Thanks so much for your encouragement. What a way to begin 2016 with our focus on the Lord. Your emails always encourage me and I am blessed. May 2016 be a year that brings each one on a closer walk with God.

  12. I have made the habit of reading my Bible each morning and spending a little time with God and then in the evening to read a devotional and meditate, pray and be ready to go to sleep.

    May your New Year bring many

  13. Thanks Yvonne For the lovely reading today, It was a subtle reminder that I have let my daily scripture readings slide during the past week or so. I have read Romans 5 daily for years & it has seen me through some very difficult times. All The best in the new year j ps. I love the other aspects of your blog & utilize a lot of the suggestions .

  14. Happy New Year Yvonne- These are the first two scriptures I memorized as a new believer at the age of 17. I am now much older and have to say God has brought these verses to my mind many times as a reminder of what is most important in my walk of faith with Him. Thank you for sharing what the Lord lays on your heart. It has been a true blessing to me. I look forward to the new year with great joy knowing He is in control and is crazy in love with me❤️

  15. Thank you for your words of encouragement and for sharing the joy of your faith! God is good!

  16. Thank you! Your faith is inspiring to me. Wishing you and your family a New Year filled with God’s blessings.

  17. Good morning Yvonne. I saw your email on Sunday, but for some reason , I didn’t open it. I did this morning and I’m so glad I did. I so badly needed to hear your message. I have been really struggling with something for years. I really want 2016 to be a year of victory. I repent and then go right back to it. I hate myself when I do. I covet your prayers. Going to the book of John right now. Loving hugs to you. I pray I can encourage someone else the way you have encouraged me.

  18. Thank you for your desire to follow God’s word ~ you are such a blessing! Love your devotionals ~ Keep up the good work until God takes you home or He returns to take His children home (our real home) ~ Happy New Year to one of my favorite bloggers!

  19. Amen! Yvonne, you are a beautiful soul! You are such a beautiful and inspirational child of God. I too look to your blog for motivation because I can trust your pure intentions which are in alignment with God’s will. I will unite my prayers with yours in 2016. Thank you for all of your helpful tips, gorgeous photos and for sharing your home and your sentiments with all of us in 2015. I look forward to new beginnings and happy endings. God bless you and all of your readers.

    In His Grip,

  20. What a wonderful challenge! I agree wholeheartedly with your statement to read slowly. I’ve done the “year through the bible” plan in part or in whole many times, but it wasn’t until I started actually slowing down and reading to see what each sentence means that I was able to really connect with God in a much deeper way than just a list of do’s, don’ts, stories, and history. The word *as God’s word* became alive for me that way! Thanks and Happy New Year to you and yours!

  21. Thank you for the beautiful and motivating post. I am going to refer to this often, and strive to become closer to God in the process. Have a wonderful journey!