A New Year

What does that mean for you? Are you starting a “New Year’s Resolution”? New Routines? New goals? I do like thinking about being refreshed, renewed. It is a time to look at what you did last year, and what you would like to see happen this year.

It’s the 1st of the month – so I started a new Bible Reading Plan. I really like Rachel WoJo’s plans. I do like having the monthly themes. I also have used them to respond to God – write the verses in my own words, or pray them back to God. But I also decided to go thru the Psalms and Proverbs again. I read 1 a day of each – Proverbs starts again each month. I have done this for many years. I especially love Praising God thru the Psalms!!!

No matter what we do – God knows. He knows our hearts, our thoughts – everything about us – the good and the bad. In Genesis 16:13, we see El-Roi – the God who sees me. Genesis 16:13 So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.” God does look after us – He even knows the number of our hairs on our head. He cares about the details of our lives. He wants to know us more.

Psalm 1 is one of my favorite Psalms. I think it just starts us on the right track. It is a great Psalm to start our new year with!

1Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3He is like a tree
planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. 4The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away. 5Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; 6for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

First, our life is not characterized by sin. In the view, of Christ – He wants us to be a light to sinners – He wants us to share the gospel. He wants us to be “in” the world, but not “of” the world. We need to be involved in others lives, but be a light to them – living a holy life – set apart to God. Jesus also commands us to “go and make disciples”.

I recently read this Psalm and was wrestling with this verse. I was meditating on God’s Word – I was thinking about the meaning. I was thinking about how Jesus came to save sinners – how He lived His life on earth. He did not turn His back on sinners – but offered them His open arms (even to the point of His death on the cross for us).

Also notice the word “delight” – we are to take joy in God’s Word. (a high degree of pleasure or enjoyment; joy; rapture) – wow that really opens up God’s Word for us. It should not be a drudgery, something to check off our list. The rest of the verse talks about meditating on God’s Word. So it is not a quick – speed read thru the verses and we are done. It does not need to take a long time either. It could be a short passage – to get our day going. But we need to take a few minutes and think about the Words. How do they affect me? ie like we are doing here – thinking about God’s Words – seeing how He “looks after me” (Gen16:13).

When we are reading God’s Word, the next verse talks about how we are nourished. We don’t go days without eating or drinking, we really should not be going days without reading God’s Word. (I understand busy lives – I have 9 children, my parents live with us. It does not mean, I need to spend hours reading God’s Word. How about listening to God’s Word while you are getting ready in the morning? I LOVE hearing the Bible with the YouVersion – I can listen and see things happen a lot quicker, because I am able to hear a lot more in a shorter bit of time. I also try to fill my life with music that talks about God – worships Him. It can be a verse that gets you thru your day.).

Isn’t it encouraging to see that in the last verse of this Psalm – that God knows our ways. Like in Genesis – He sees us – He cares about us. He wants us to know Him and He wants a relationship with us….

But there is a problem – we are all sinners. We all have turned our backs on God. But He still loves us – He has provided a way out. The penalty for sin is death – eternal separation from God, it won’t be pleasant. God sent His only son Jesus (we just celebrated His birth at Christmas), to die on the cross for our sins. Jesus took our penalty, He took our sin and became the sacrificial lamb for us! You just need to believe that Jesus died for you. Recognize that you ARE a sinner – that you have turned your back on God. He is waiting with open arms – He WANTS to have a relationship with you. God wants YOU to turn back to Him.

How are you planning to live in the New Year???


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