A new year is a fresh start. And a fresh start is a great time to reset your priorities.
What’s really important? And what’s just preferred?
I would suggest seven areas of importance that you would consider and work into your routines in this coming year:
1. The Priority of Prayer
Above the execution of any goal, completion of any project, or implementation of any process is the necessity of prayer. We should give prayer our first priority and best effort. As the saying goes, “When we work, we work; but when we pray, God works.
And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;—Luke 18:1
2. The Priority of Scripture
God’s Word is necessary for our own lives and foundational for Spirit-filled ministry. Is spending time in it a priority for your day? Is it the basis for all your ministry?
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:—2 Timothy 3:16
3. The Priority of Forgiveness
Don’t go into the New Year with an unresolved conflict or a private grudge.
Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.—Colossians 3:13
4. The Priority of Preparation
The beginning of a year is a great time to step back and prepare—whether that be lesson plans for the school year, themes and texts for upcoming preaching series, or ideas for quality family time. Seize a few moments now to prepare before the busyness of the year swallows you up.
Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which…Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.—Proverbs 6:6–8
5. The Priority of Order
Take some time now to order your schedule, your home, your workspace. Order is one of the greatest foundations for productivity.
Let all things be done decently and in order.—1 Corinthians 14:40
6. The Priority of the Gospel
Christ’s last command must be our first priority. Take time now to evaluate your participation in the Great Commission. Are you regularly sharing the gospel with lost people? Are you sacrificially giving to world evangelism? How can you grow in both?
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.—Matthew 28:19–20
7. The Priority of Mentoring
It is only as we develop others around us that we permanently succeed. Who can you intentionally invest in this year? In many cases, these people are our direct responsibility given by God—if you are a parent, your children; if you are a pastor, those in your flock; if you are a teacher, your students.
And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.—2 Timothy 2:2
Technically, the word priority can only refer to a single item of importance. It includes the word prior, which means “first.” And you can only have one first.
So even as you look at this list of seven “priorities,” remember that, as Christians, we have just one priority—the glory of God. Use this list simply to help you evaluate how you can best invest the coming year for that one priority. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).