A Simple Verse For A New Year

As the song says: “Fast away the old year passes” and we sit on the doorstep of a brand new year. It is typically — and should be — a time of reflection, and recommitment.

But what kind of commitments (“resolutions” if you want to call them) should we make?  There are many areas of our lives which could use improvement. So where do we start?

Psalm 37:27 gives us a good, Biblcial starting point for some commitments for the New Year:   “Depart from evil and do good.”

Here we find a simple, two-fold, scriptural outline for action:

1) “Depart from evil.” We live in a world in which we are assailed by many temptations, and looking back on the past year, each of us can undoubtedly point out areas of our lives in which we have succumbed.  Is there some particular sin with which you have become resigned, or even comfortable? You can be assured that God is not comfortable with it!  Ask for His forgiveness for that sin — and for power in His Holy Spirit to turn away from it this year.  Importantly, also ask Him to help you identify some specific steps that you can take to avoid the temptation, or to find godly people around you who can help you with your struggle.

2) “Do good.”  Sin does not merely consist of things we should avoid. James wrote: “To one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17)   As you look back on the previous year, what  good things that God would have you do, have you left undone?  Perhaps it involves personal spiritual or physical disciplines; or the ministry that God gifted you for, but in which you did not serve; or a relationship you neglected.  What  “good” did  you neglect, that you need to ask God’s help to recommit yourself to in the coming year?

As we face a brand new year,  there are surely  many areas of our lives which could use some revitalization.  Thankfully, Psalm 37:27 gives  us an easy-to-remember outline to use in seeking God for where to begin, and for checking  up  on our progress in the coming year.   Commit this simple, scriptural outline to memory,  and make it a matter of daily prayer and accountability this year, to: “Depart from evil, and do good.”


About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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