SETTING COURSE FOR A NEW YEAR…

PSALMS 1:2-3: “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.” NKJV
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OBSERVATION: Today, I set a course for the new year. There are only 5 days left before we usher in the New Year. Christmas celebrations are over. Decorations begin to be stored for another year. And, thoughts are directed forward wondering what the new year will bring.

Is there anything magical about a new year? Does something happen at midnight, December 31, when the clock rings out its last chime? There is really nothing that happens but the turning on the page of the calendar. However, we have assigned great significance to this turn. We have superimposed it with the desire to start over, wipe the slate clean, and dream of new opportunities.

The New Year is a time to change our course!

In a movie, one’s life can change course in a matter of minutes. However, in real life, changing course is sometimes like trying to push an 18 wheeler that has stalled. We may have been moving in the wrong direction so long that our lives are stuck in a deep rut. To be honest, before we can change course, we have to dig ourselves out of the rut we find ourselves in.

How do we get out of our rut and change course?

The ruts in life are not literal roads. They are patterns of thinking and behavior. The book of Proverbs states – “As a man thinks in his heart, so he is.” (Proverbs 23:7). Our perception of our life, our perception of God, our perception of this world, is what leads us to a highway of success and blessing or a rut of trouble and despair. When we are stuck in a rut the mere hopes of a better year simply won’t cut it.

We need to change our thinking to change our course!

How do we begin to change our thinking? Do we buy a self-help book filled with positive declarations that we begin to speak over our life? It is not as simple as that. No power of positive thinking can pull us out of the ruts of life. We don’t need positive thinking. We need transformative thinking! We need to turn our hearts and minds to the living Word of God which is able to renew our minds and set us free.

David writes,

  • “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.”

Jesus affirms this,

  • “…If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John‬ ‭8:31-32‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

God did not create this world with bulldozers and steel girders. God created this world with His Word! He spoke and that which was not – came into existence. The only one who can transform our life is the Lord Himself. He does this through the Holy Spirit and His Word. We are invited to make His Word our daily focus, our meditation, our pathway for living. The choice is ours and the results are promised!

  • “He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.”
  • “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

This does not mean that we will all receive a windfall of wealth and worldly success. God’s focus is never on the externals of our life. They are always directed at our hearts. What it does mean is that we will experience the constant unfolding of God’s best for our life. The pathway of God’s Word leads us to forgiveness, healing, and blessing. It lifts us out of our ruts and sets us on the highway of grace. As our minds are filled with God’s Word our lives are changed, our directions corrected, and our destination assured!

However, we must remember, the choice is ours, and the reality of the wrong choice is just as certain as that of the right choice.

  • “The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭1:4-6‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Lord, as I prepare my heart and life for the year ahead, grant me the grace to choose the pathway of Your Word. May I begin each day with You. May Your Word come alive each day as I read it. Let me meditate on it during the day and let it be the last thought I have as I end each day. I give You the year ahead of me. Lead me into the pathway of righteousness for Your Name’s sake!

In Jesus Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy-to-follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com. Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
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