Impressive New Year’s promises…
Today we had our weekly Bible study group and the “homework” for this time was: “bring a Bible verse that you will take with you into 2024 as a guideline for you, for this year.” And usually, if you are going to do something like this, the easy Bible verses come up that God is going to bless you, etc, etc. But not this time! These are a few examples of the Bible texts that the participants took with them for 2024!
Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.Revelation 3:19
Wow! Let’s be honest, that’s not the easiest verse. That is a verse that you can only use if you really understand who God fully is. This verse says a lot about the person saying it. This person wants the whole gospel and wants (!) to be earnest about it all for God in 2024. Not just 90%, but the full 100%.
Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! Sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless His name; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the Lord made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before Him; Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary. Give to the Lord, O families of the peoples, Give to the Lord glory and strength. 8 Give to the Lord the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come into His courts. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth. Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns; The world also is firmly established, It shall not be moved; He shall judge the peoples righteously.” Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; Let the sea roar, and all its fullness; Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the Lord. For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness, And the peoples with His truth.Psalm 96
And then you ask: why this psalm? And then it comes… verse 1: “Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!” And why that part? She wants to sing a new song to the Lord every day. Every single day in 2024. Wow…
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.John 13:34-35
And that verse is not a “I want, I want” verse, no! This verse is: I am going to love others in 2024 as much as Christ loves me. I’m going to do that!
Are you starting to notice something yet?
The people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.Isaiah 43:21
In other words, the wish for 2024 is to tell others what great things God has done.
And then the next one… it seems a lot easier… but there’s a catch:
I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.Isaiah 45:2-3
And then you start asking why this passage? And then it turns out that the lady who took this verse as a guideline for 2024 has figured out exactly what the context is… and knows who Cyrus is in verse 1…. and knows how to really explain this verse well. And only when you understand who this Cyrus was and what the context is, you will also understand that this verse sounds easy… but it requires you to do 100% what God asks of you. And that’s quite something…
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.1 Corinthians 10:31
That is quite something. All = Everything you want to do in 2024 you want to do for the glory of God. Everything…
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”Psalm 46:10
And here too, the explanation: God is not just anyone… God is someone for whom the person who chose this text has a LOT of respect. Also, a God who says to be still for a moment, and instead of “I’m going to do it by my own power” says: No, He is God, I want to be quiet, it’s up to Him, and I trust Him.
As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.Acts 17:10-12
And why this text? For 2024, I want to listen carefully to what God says, study what it says and check everything everyone else says with the bible in my hand, to see whether what that person says is true. Every day. And as I do that, I hope and pray that other people will also believe in Christ.
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, And rejoices like a strong man to run its race. Its rising is from one end of heaven, And its circuit to the other end; And there is nothing hidden from its heat. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward. Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, And I shall be innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.Psalm 19:1-15
The explanation why this passage was chosen? The desire for me in 2024 is to learn even more of the glory of God and to praise him every day. Every single day in 2024, with great respect for who He is.
These are quite some verses! Without exception, these are not the verses “I want to get X from God”, but these are the “I wish to give everything to God in 2024”. Everything. Wow.
And? What is your Bible verse for 2024?