We are over a week now into the new year. How are your resolutions going? There are probably three responses to that question.
- You feel proud and want to tell me that you’ve kept your resolutions every day so far and it’s been amazing.
- You groan inwardly, and are probably tempted to click out of this blog.
- You don’t have an emotional response, because you didn’t make any resolutions.
Before I had decided if I was going to make a resolution this year, I was reading Psalm 1 on Dec. 31,
“Blessed 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;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He 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.”
I’ve read these verses before, but maybe it was the fact that I read them on New Years Eve this time that made them hit a new chord within me. What if our resolution for 2020 is to dig into Scripture more? What if our greatest desire is to invest time getting to know the character of our God, His plan for creation, and His unfathomable love and forgiveness for mankind?
Take a minute and read through Psalm 1:1-3 again. What could 2020 look like if we meditate, study, memorize, listen to, read, pray through, and talk about Scripture daily? How could our everyday tasks be impacted by this type of immersion? Folding laundry, sitting in traffic, picking up kids, writing a report, catching up with a friend, going to the bank, shoveling snow…can God’s Word really impact these tasks and our heart behind performing them?
The Psalmist uses a tree as a metaphor for a believer who is meditating on God’s Word. The word for meditate comes from the Hebrew word, hagah, which is translated as “…to murmur, to mutter, to growl…like a lion over his prey” (Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon). Now that’s an image for you. Imagine if we protected and hungered for God’s Word the way lions do their prey. What if this year God’s word was heard being muttered from our lips? What if it seasoned our conversations both in person and digitally?
Now let’s get back to this “tree” image. It’s “planted by streams of water.” These streams represent knowledge, and understanding of God’s Word that will sustain us no matter what our circumstances or conditions look like. Not only will we be sustained, but we will “yield fruit in its season.” Fruit to be a blessing to others, fruit to proclaim God’s goodness, and fruit to share of His faithfulness.
And then (I know! There’s even more!) regardless of season, of bearing fruit, or of circumstance, “...its leaf does not wither” and “In all that he does, he prospers.” How sweet that we have this assurance that God’s Word will not just sustain us, but will also give us opportunities to bless others and give Him all the glory.
It’s amazing how so much hope, newness, energy, and motivation we feel at the strike of midnight on New Years Eve. “This year will be different” we tell ourselves.
Well, let’s make this year different. Let’s jump into our Bibles, and grab a friend of two to keep us accountable.
While there are tons are resources, here are a few Bible reading options:
- Bible Gateway Reading Plans
- Navigators Bible Reading Plans
- The Gospel Coalition Bible Reading Plan
- Jen Wilkin – Ways to get into the Word
- cru Ministry – Ways to study the Bible
Making other resolutions is absolutely fine, but what if we placed this one at the top? Can we entrust 2020 to the Lord, the Creator of all things, of time, and of space, and commit to getting to know Him better this year? And who knows, maybe some of your other resolutions like getting healthier, being a better listener, or spending more time with your family will also be kept as you dig into scripture and see that God encourages us to do all those things as well!
So here’s to 2020 and my resolution to be more like that tree.
Happy New Year!