Did you resolve to lose a little weight in the new year? Or maybe you pledged to spend more time with your family or to save a little money for a rainy day. At the new year, I think we all tend to review the state of our life and consider how we can improve things. With that in mind, I thought I would examine three wonderful Scriptures (all NKJV) to encourage you to make 2017 a year for growing closer to the Lord and serving Him in bold new ways.
- Psalm 51:10 — “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” This is a great verse for reviving your commitment to living a godly life. The Liberty Bible Commentary has this to say about this passage: “David is interested in more than just forgiveness of sins. He is interested in the creative power of God making him a new creature with a new, clean heart.” We know how David failed. But he pursued God’s abiding forgiveness and sought anew to live for Him. No matter how we have disappointed God, our families or ourselves, God calls us to repentance, forgiveness and a renewed spirit, in Him. Renewing your commitment to Christ may require that you seek forgiveness from others and to rectify wrongs. Just let God guide you as you put Him first in all you do.
- Romans 8:28 — “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Most Christians can recite this verse, but because we are so familiar with it, we might miss the powerful truth that it holds. This verse is a picture of a mature Christian, one who accepts what God places in his/her path out of simple trust in Him. It is the Spirit of God within us that empowers us to live in faith and wisdom. We also see here that God’s purpose is eternal, which means that we may not understand all that we must endure in this life. No matter what you are facing, God wants you to give Him honor and He wants you to trust Him beyond yourself. He’ll never let you down.
- II Timothy 2:15 — “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Again, let’s look at the Liberty Bible Commentary, which says, “It certainly takes diligent study of the Word to ‘rightly divide’ it.” So we need to be in the Word, applying it to our lives and living without shame or fear of what the Bible says. Being approved of God is much more important than being approved by man. God’s Word is Truth and we need to be standing on that Truth in this new year and always. In a world of compromise and situational ethics, God’s Word remains ultimate Truth and it must be our guiding force and light at all times (Psalm 119:105).
I would like to wish all my readers a happy and blessed new year. It is a privilege to share my thoughts with you. I pray that we can continue to learn and grow in Him together in this hopeful new year.