Happy New Year!
I hope 2021 has started well for each of you. Many are still feeling the effects of all that happened in 2020, and my prayer is that this new year will bring peace, joy, healing, and everything else this hurting world needs.
For the past few years, I've chosen a word to meditate on in the new year. TRUST in 2017 when we lost our jobs and moved to Tennessee. REST in 2018 after surviving the craziness of 2017. HOPE in 2019 as I began writing a new book. COURAGE in 2020 as that book, Under the Tulip Tree, went out in to the world.
The word I've chosen for 2021 is LISTEN.
Listen is such an interesting word. To listen is different than simply hearing. We hear things--music, voices, birds, traffic, etc-- all day long, but we don't necessarily listen to them. The Pharisees heard Jesus speaking, but they didn't listen to what he was saying. The same is all too often true when GOD speaks to us today. Whether it's through His Word or through our spirits, listening to him--not just hearing--is vital! To listen also requires action. James 1:22 says, "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says!"
With the new year underway, I'm determined to listen more. I looked up a few verses to keep me on track:
"Listen, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone." Deuteronomy 6:4 NLT
"This is my Son, my Chosen One. Listen to him." Luke 9:35 and Mark 9:7 NLT
"Listen to me and remember what I say." Luke 9:44 NLT
"Pay attention to how you hear." Luke 8:18 NLT
And my favorite, the verse I've chosen for 2021:
"My sheep listen to my voice. I know them, and they follow me." John 10:27 NLT
I think it's a great way to start a new year! This song by Chris McClarney, I'm Listening, is the perfect song to go with it. "Quiet my heart, I'm listening."
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