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Broken Resolutions…

By January 12, 2023Devotional

Well, we are about twelve days into the New Year! New habits take about 21 days to form, 21 more days to become routine and finally, another 21 days to be reinforced and become “habit.” However, the greatest risk of failure is during the first round of 21 days – and we are just a little more than half way through that benchmark as we celebrate January 12th.

You are undoubtedly familiar with all the ads for diets and weight loss programs that we see right at the first of the year. We also get the ads for fitness programs that are all inviting us to join at some unusually low rate for a specified introductory period.

I tried an experiment at the first of the year. I have heard so much about the “Noom” weight loss program that I decided to go through the motions and see what they would do to get my business. At first, they wanted to give me 2 free weeks when I signed up for a six month program. They asked me numerous questions about my background and predicted it would take about 10 months to achieve my “goal.”

I had no intention of signing up, but since January 1st, they have blown up my email, sweetening the offer every time they write to me. I was offered a month for free, then two months, various other incentives and finally, they offered me four months free when I signed up for a six month “program.” During the same time, they reduced the time to reach my goal from 10 months to only 6 months. All I can think of is why they wouldn’t just be up front and give me a “fair deal” from the beginning. But that’s not the way that the world works.

We keep getting bribed to entice us to make quick decisions – especially at the beginning of the year. And the truth of the matter is that most of us forget about our resolutions within the first several weeks and for a huge majority of people, making it to February sticking to a plan is almost unheard of.

We vow to do better each year, which almost never happens, and more folks are just refusing to make resolutions – having been disappointed so many times by their failure to follow through. But there is hope in one area where I want to be an encouragement. And that is in the study of the Scripture throughout this year.

God wants us to be in relationship with Him and to study His word. Not only that, but in tonight’s verse the psalmist actually asks God to teach him! In fact, Psalm 119 is the first psalm in the second half of the Bible. It is what is called an acrostic psalm. It is comprised of a number of stanzas – each beginning with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The second stanza, named “Beth,” is about taking time to be holy and the third stanza, “Gimel,”  tells us that we need God’s word.

Tonight’s verse comes from the second stanza, Psalm 119:10-16, which tells us, “I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, O LORD; teach me your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.”

Notice the final words of tonight’s verse – the psalmist meditates on God’s word and vows to not neglect it! My encouragement this evening is that we all need God’s word – and to move toward being holy. My prayer is that this year, we may remain committed to remembering God’s word and realizing how much we need it – each day of this year! Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…

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