Faith & Family

New year calls for a new mindset

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Sam Vargas

A new year! A time when we get excited to make changes for the better. It feels like a natural fresh start, that the old is gone and the new has come. We set meaningful goals in areas such as fitness, finance, family, and faith, with the hope that we might be fulfilled in these areas. 

When setting goals/resolutions this next year, ask yourself how much lasting value do your goals accomplish?

Recorded in the Bible in the gospel of Matthew, Jesus preaches the greatest sermon every heard, the “Sermon on The Mount.” In this sermon, He deals with the outer man – how they are to live; and the inner man – who they are to be inside.

Matthew 6:19-21 says “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Jesus directs his followers to be heavenly minded and not earthly minded. This is not a way for someone to work for their salvation, but rather to work out their salvation. When someone is born again, their life is not their own anymore, but Christ is now their life! (Colossians 3:1-4)

Often, we are driven by the need to be wealthy, successful, and famous for our own earthly gain. The practical effort of a believer is to be heavenly minded in all that we do. It’s shifting our hearts and minds by the power of the Holy Spirit to walk in obedience to God’s will. 

Have you ever asked yourself, “What is God’s perspective in how I am to live?” Do you allow God to speak into your life, whether it be fitness, finance, family, or faith? 

We all store up treasures, but those treasures will either be on earth or in heaven. In verse 21 of Matthew 6, Jesus says, “… where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” The truth is, whatever it is we treasure, is what we will cherish. What do you value the most? What takes highest priority in your life?

SAM VARGAS and his wife, Holly; son, Uriah; and daughter, Josefina.

The believer must think of their life as a living sacrifice to God – a life that is wholly and without reservation devoted to God. It is our spiritual worship to give ourselves to Him, even if that means the demise of earthly treasures.

The believer can trust that Jesus is the good shepherd and that he has made provisions for all that they need. We can trust in God’s perfect council for our lives. 

Psalm 32:8 reads, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” Our goals and resolutions tell us who we are and what we cherish. God desires that we cherish Him!

When Jesus is pressed by the Pharisees on what is the greatest commandment, He responds in Mark 12:30:

“You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.”

In the year 2024, what does wholehearted devotion to God look like in your life? If you haven’t already, I challenge you to find a Bible-believing local church in which you can grow, serve, and invest. I encourage you to seek the things above, where Christ is seated, at the right hand of God!

Sam Vargas is a soccer coach and a pastor at Discover Church.