Psalm 1 (KJV) is a great Psalm to read at the beginning of a new year. Pay particular attention to verses one through three where the writer gives us a wonderfully painted word picture of what we can expect by turning our year over to God. When we walk in His ways and delight in focusing on God, we can expect to:
- Live in good health
- Be fruitful
In essence, we are accomplishing God’s purpose in our life–just like a strong, healthy tree which stands strong by the riverside and yearly brings forth it’s fruit. Can you get excited about that?
The process is laid out in three relatively easy steps.
- Seek God-centered counsel (the Bible and God fearing individuals)
- Live life as a person who honors and is personally acquainted with God
- Let righteousness, peace and joy define you
We are to avoid taking the counsel of the ungodly. These people don’t give any thought to God. His kingdom operates in a way opposite of the natural world; therefore, the ungodly will never understand God’s desires for us and never counsel us to follow them.
We are also to shun the types of behaviors that define sinners–those who choose to follow their own pernicious ways instead of God’s ways. They desire to do what feels and seems good at the time as opposed to what pleases God. (1 Peter 4:1-4)
Lastly, the writer exhorts us to avoid sitting in the seat of the scornful. He means that we are not to represent their ways. Words that describe the scornful should never be words describing the one who wants God’s best for his or her life. Some synonyms of scornful are: haughty, arrogant, cynical, egotistic, and snooty. These words paint a very ugly picture as far as I am concerned and they don’t accurately describe our great God.
New year. Fresh start. Choose to follow God’s way this year. Don’t squander precious time on any mistakes of your past year (or yesterday for that matter). Take Jesus’ hand and go forward into the uncharted waters of this brand new chapter of your life. Your slate for tomorrow–every tomorrow–has been wiped clean. (Lamentations 3:22-23) You have three steps to get you started on the right path.
God has good things planned for those who love Him. (Jeremiah 29:11) Give Him His way with your life by yielding to the Holy Spirit’s gentle nudge. Our God is a loving Father and wants you to succeed. He remains available to His children for any type of need 24 hours a day, seven days a week! In my favorite devotional, God says, “I hold the year in My hands–in trust for you. But I shall guide you one day at a time.” Trust God for great things throughout this year.
“2016 can be the best year of your life, if it is the best year spiritually.” Pastor Rob Singleton
What next steps can you take to start off on the right foot for 2016? (Make sure reading your Bible and praying tops your list.)