Thursday, January 1
As the new year dawns, I’m filled with a sense of anticipation about what God wants to do in and through my life in 2009. While I don’t know the details, I’m confident that He wants me to enjoy a more intimate relationship with Him and to bear fruit that will last for eternity. And so, as I opened my Bible this morning, I asked God to bring this to pass.
Typically I use the One Year Bible in the New Living Translation for my devotions. This morning, I read Psalm 1, and its words seemed to leap off the page.
“Oh the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with scoffers. But they delight in doing everything the Lord wants; day and night they think about his law. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season without fail. Their leaves never wither, and in all they do, they prosper.” (vv. 2,3)
What’s the secret to having a fruitful life? One of the major keys is obedience. When God has a plan and asks me to participate, I need to say yes. And I need to do so with delight.
I think of a teenager being asked by his mom to take out the trash. He can respond in either of two ways. He could whine and moan and complain — “Aw, Mom, do I have to?” or he could say, “Sure, Mom. No problem. I’ll get right to it” and obey cheerfully. Which response brings greatest joy to his mother? The latter, of course.
And so it is with God’s children. When He gives us a task, we need to say yes with a cheerful heart — even if we don’t understand why He’s asking us to do a certain thing. By doing so, we show Him respect. We demonstrate our love for Him, and He is pleased.
The other key, I believe, is filling our minds with God’s Word. When we do that, we begin thinking His thoughts and valuing the same things He values. That will transform our behavior, and that will impact the world around us for Jesus Christ.
The natural result of living life with God’s values in mind is fruitful living. It’s not something we have strive for, it just happens when we’re walking in obedience to His will and thinking His thoughts.
That’s the kind of life I want! How about you?
“Lord, grant us hearts that take delight in obeying You even if Your directives seem difficult or hard to understand. Give us the strength to train our minds on You so that we will begin to think as You do. And give us the privilege of bearing fruit without fail. We love you. Amen.”