Let’s face it, we all start the year with hopes and dreams. Some make resolutions, others spend time setting goals and planning to accomplish them. Others just dream and do nothing to move forward. It’s my prayer, that one of your goals will be to give your best to God all year, and memorizing his word is one way to do it.
So, whether your year begins on a high or a low, it’s a new year. And as we move through the year life will happen. Sometimes, what happens will be hard. But for the Christ-follower, no matter our circumstances, we have hope! We all need hope and our hope is built on the Lord Jesus Christ.
We will begin January with an easy verse, one many of you may already know, and memorize 5 verses that affirm the Lord is our Hope and Salvation!
Week of January 1
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
God gave Jeremiah this promise when the Israelites were in captivity in Babylon. Seventy years passed from the time the words were penned until the promise was fulfilled. The actual promise here is that the Israelites will return from captivity. But, this promise is a glimpse into the faithfulness of our God. If you read the Old Testament, there are more hard years than good years for God’s chosen people both before and after this prophecy. But, God does deliver hope and he ensures the future when he sends his son! Not just for the Israelites, but for all of us. Eternal life is our future if we are Christ-followers. This is why we can proclaim Jerimiah 29:11 today. None of us are waiting to return from Babylon but we are counting on the God who provides both a future and a hope.
It’s our human nature to think that if God loves us he will deliver what we want, you know…the good stuff, now! In 2018, God has already delivered the best there is. He sent his Son to save us over 2000 years ago. Today, you may not be ‘feeling’ the hope. But if Christ is your Lord, then you have it, my friend!
I know from personal experience that when you are walking through some hard days in life, the hope can get a little dim. But, even when we don’t feel like it’s there, even when we’re not getting our way, it’s there. Just like God delivered on his promise to release the Israelites from captivity 70 years later, he is a God who always keeps his promise.
Week of January 7
This brings us to the second January verse.
Deuteronomy 7:9 Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands.
Yes, that’s my God! He asks me to trust, no matter what my day-to-day looks like. Daily circumstances do not negate the promise. Feelings do not negate the promise. God is faithful! His promise was to save us if we trust him. He’s already held up his end of this agreement. In return, he lavishes his love on us.
Don’t you just love that word lavish? Pouring on the love no matter what, more love than we could possibly absorb in one lifetime!
Week of January 14
Psalm 62:5 Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.
We live in a society in the U.S. that is based on instant gratification. We don’t really wait quietly for much. The American way is to go out and grab hold of what we want. Work harder, put it on the credit card, make it happen. But God asks us to wait quietly. Again, this is about trust. We to stop just making it happen and wait on God to give us what we need. What he has planned for us? What if we aren’t getting what we wanted? Yes, he still asks us to wait quietly with no teeth gnashing in worry, no temper tantrums, no plotting or scheming. Just wait quietly and trust.
Week of January 21
Matthew 12:21 And his name will be the hope of all the world.
Here’s another great example of God being faithful despite a timetable that is unfathomable for us. Jesus was promised thousands of years before he arrived on earth as a child come to save us. He was born as our hope for our salvation, and his birth confirmed that God is faithful over the long haul.
Week of January 28
Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.
Our final verse this month is just another bit of encouragement. When life gets tough in 2018, and it probably will at some point. When you don’t get your way, when you are disappointed, when something happens that brings on the fear, keep holding tightly to the promise of the God who has a track record of delivering on promises. Trust that He knows best even when you don’t really like the way things seem to be going. Because he is the only real source of hope!
It’s time for the first challenge! I hope you will join in the fun! Committing God’s Word to memory does not take a lot of time. Just concentrate on your one verse for the week. You will find the challenge is something you can do successfully.
Be Strategic: You can easily encounter your verse several times a day. Print out the verse cards that came to you as an email subscriber. If you didn’t get them, sign up for the goodies! Or write them out for yourself.
Make it Visible: Stick these verses on your mirror, your computer monitor, your microwave or maybe your refrigerator. You want to see it over and over during the day. Put a copy on in your purse or maybe on the lock screen of your phone.For your commute, stick a card with your verse on it where you can see it and give it a quick read when you are stuck in traffic.
See and Say: When you see the verse, say it out loud. This will help you see and hear the words. They will quickly become a part of your memory.
Try to learn where the verse is found, but don’t panic if that’s the part that holds you back. With today’s tools, if you know the verse, you can easily look it up in your Bible.
I’m so excited! My prayer is that God will plant his word deep in your heart as you spend time with it throughout your week. I am imagining great things from those who put their hope in God!
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