Devotional: A Resolution that Works

New-Years-Resolutions “And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.”—1 Thessalonians 2:13

We’re over half way through the first month of the year, and I know many of you started off eagerly and with great intentions to do a lot of things. Exercise. Eat right. Follow a “read the Bible in a year” program, or something similar to help you grow spiritually. Every year, I know I say to myself, this is the year to get it right.

Remember, whatever plans and resolution you’ve made, God is at work in you. You can hinder His work, or receive it and let Him shape your present and future. There is a key to letting God work, and to receiving the blessings that go with the process.

If you do anything, if you stick with any resolution, make God’s Word the priority—and with the right motives.

When I was young, I studied the word zealously, approaching the Bible with a list of questions, determined to find answers. Nothing wrong with that, except that often my motives were skewed by my desire to dazzle others with my vast Bible knowledge. But as I matured, the Word worked into my life. I began to realize the depth, the riches, the power God’s Word has in my life. I see something new every time I read even familiar passages and long told stories. Now, I can honestly say, that I don’t know as much now as I thought I did 20 years ago.

God’s Word is more than facts and doctrine. It is living, piercing and has the ability to work in our lives in ways we cannot even fathom.

One philosophy of life depicts time as linear. A straight line from the past to the future. Since the past is gone, the future unknowable, the emphasis becomes the present. All that matters is now.

But for the Hebrew culture, in which God’s Word was inspired, life is a circle. The Scripture are multi-layered. The Bible and their recorded histories take meticulous care to recount events, records, and genealogies. The past and its lessons are a window to our future. When you first learn a truth, it is only on one level. Each time we return to that lesson, in life or in history, we gain a new level of understanding and enlightenment. We never fully arrive—we just keep going deeper and higher and gaining new understanding.

Allow God’s Word into your life this year on a consistent basis. It will change you, inspire you, and lead you into greater understanding of your God, of yourself, and of your world. And then, you will find that God has a plan for your life that supersedes all of our best-intentioned resolutions!

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” —Hebrews 4:12