Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”
“To lose weight, the exercise more, to raise my bowling score average, to work less and play more, to spend more time with my family, to be more faithful in my devotional life, to use my time more wisely, to . . . . .” What will your New Year’s resolution be?
You know it’s time for that again, right? What are we going to do different in 2018 in contrast to 2017? How are we going to improve ourselves or our situations over this past year? How will our lives be different in the coming year from the year past?
Very simply, have we learned anything this past year? What I mean is, aren’t we suppose to get a little wiser as we get a little older? Aren’t we suppose to learn from our mistakes and recognize our successes?
Once again, there are many things that could be said as we face a new year. Many challenges, admonitions, encouragements, and types of advice can be given and received as we face the year of our Lord, 2018.
But as a covenant people of God we know that our highest authority for these things is the Word of God, the whole Word of God, and nothing but the Word of God. God has given His Word to us, recorded on the pages of Scripture, to be “a lamp to our feet and a light for our paths” (Psalm 119:105).
Our comfort is that there is no guess work involved when it comes to this life. Oh, we may not know what tomorrow holds, but as the saying goes, “we know who holds tomorrow.” We may not know how every single detail of our lives will turn out. But we may be content that God knows.
We may not know if and what challenges we will face, mistakes we will make, or victories we may win in the coming year. But we do know and can be confident that nothing happens by chance, because every detail is planned out by and is a part of God’s providential plan.
Now, of course, none of this means we are to become complacent, or adopt an “I don’t care” attitude. God calls us to be active and busy in this life, being faithful to Him in whatever calling in which He has placed us. He commands us that in whatever we do, even if in something as routine and mundane as eating and drinking, we are to do it as unto the Lord.
In other words, as the hymn says, “Fill Thou my life, O Lord, my God, in every part with praise . . . So shall no part of day or night from sacredness be free, but all my life, in every step, be fellowship with Thee” (Psalter Hymnal #449).
How is this possible? Only by the mercy and grace of God, poured out upon us for the sake of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. In Him alone do we enjoy new life by the power of the Holy Spirit, and that same illuminating power gives us that new desire to live for Him.
And the psalmist beautifully teaches us how our Lord fills our lives – by filling us with His Word. As He fills us with His Word we learn more and more about the holiness and majesty of God, of His saving grace in Christ Jesus, and what it is He requires of us, His people. That’s why the psalmist is able to say with confidence, “Your word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”
May this be our resolution for this year and every year to follow. May this be our desire, that God would bless us so that we might be a people of His Word, hiding His Word in our hearts, desiring to be faithful to and in fellowship with Him in this life, even as He has promised to bring us into glorious fellowship with Him in the life to come.
No other resolution has any meaning apart from resolving and desiring to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.
May God bless each of you, and we as a congregation, in the year to come.