“Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.” (Ps. 119:11 NKJV)
As we approach the end of 2016, this calls for a period of self reflection of the outgoing year. Where we are today in our lives as believers is a function of the choices we made during the year, either in obeying or refusing to obey the word of God. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap (Gal. 6:7).
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we have been instructed not only to show love (John 13:35) but also to have compassion, be tenderhearted and courteous towards one another (1 Peter 3:8). For God so loved the world that He gave (John 3:16). In 2017, we must begin to show love and concern for everyone that we come in contact with, regardless of how we feel about the person (Matt. 22:39), for us to enjoy the blessings of God.
As children of God, we have been instructed to bless and forgive those who offend and revile us (1 Peter 3:9). We have been commanded to love our enemies (Matt. 5:44). Remember that love is not a feeling, but a decision you make. In 2017, we must love, as instructed by God. This is what sets us apart from the world as children of God.
If we want to see the good days in 2017, we must learn to bless and not curse with our tongue (1 Peter 3:10). We must also guard our hearts with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life (Prov. 4:23). For as a man thinks in his heart so is he (Prov. 23:7). In 2017, we must not only consciously hunger and thirst for righteousness, but also renew the way we think (Rom. 12:2).
To live a good life in 2017, we must turn away from evil and do good, and also seek and pursue peace (1 Peter 3:11). This admonition is not subject to the person not having offended us, because offences will come (Luke 17:1). If it is possible, as much as it depends on us, we must live peaceably with all men in 2017 (Rom. 12:18).
To be blessed in 2017, we cannot approach the presence of God with offence and bitterness in our heart, for our God is a Holy God (Ps. 99:9). We have even been instructed to pray for those who spitefully use and persecute us (Matt. 5:44, Acts 7:60).
We can never know more than God. In 2017, we must be determined to obey God’s instructions so that we can live a blessed life. When we obey Him, He sees us and His ears are open to our prayers (Ps. 34:15).