Part I: New Years Resolutions? Psalm 119:1-8

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New Year’s Resolutions… Some of us love them, others hate them and most of us do not stick to them. Each year, my wife Kirsty and I like to dream together as we see in the new year whilst sipping champagne (or rather, sweet sparkling wine). I’d love to tell you that I am incredibly spiritual and profound, but every year, my goals tend to be very worldly.
- Eat cleaner
- Run faster
- Advance career
- Travel more
Me, myself and I.

That’s where my goals begin because I’m a sinner and I am “me” focused. I am, however, still a church guy though, so I’ll then add in things like being a better husband, listen better and pray for others more. I wonder what 2018 would look like though if instead my resolutions were:
- Do less
- Read my Bible more
Yesterday, we learnt that Psalm 119 is the longest Psalm in the book of Psalms. It also happens to be the longest chapter in the entire Bible. In verses 1-2, the psalmist describes those who know and follow the Word of God as blessed. The psalmist goes on to write (verse 5) that faithful followers of the Word of God will not be put to shame (verse 6).
Jesus is described as the Word of God in the Gospel of John chapter 1 verse 1 and in the book of Romans, Paul writes that “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-2 NIV)”
The Bible that you hold in your hand this morning is the very Word of God. It speaks of our living Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. In contrast to this, if you open up social media this morning, you will probably stumble across a number of things that make you feel shame. There’ll be pictures of perfect families, constant smiling faces, photoshopped selfies and possibly even a disappointing sports score. I don’t know about you, but as I go into 2018, I need the Word of God to come and bless me and set me free from my sin and shame. I certainly can’t do it on my own. I’ve tried through all sorts of resolutions (and God knows this) but thankfully God has already made a way through His Son Jesus.

Reflection - 
This morning, spend some time thanking God for His Word, thanking Him for Jesus and reflecting on ways in which consistently reading the Word may be possible this year.
1) When are you most alert? (Early morning/late at night?)
2) When are you able to have some quiet time to yourself? (Before work or varsity/after dropping off the kids at school/before or after gym?)
3) Where is a good place that will be quiet and that you can concentrate? (A coffee shop/your car/the train/a favourite chair?)


PRAYER:
Father God, thank you for your written Word that tells us about you, your love and about our Saviour, Jesus Christ. We ask O Lord, that your Holy Spirit would reveal to us a time and place that would help us to be diligent in diving into Psalm 119 and that your Spirit would equip us to read your Word consistently throughout the coming year. In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.

Jolindi van der Merwe