I love the beginning of the New Year! Everything is filled with such hope and promise. It’s also the time to decide on goals for the coming year. One of the things I’ve done for several decades is read through the Bible at least once throughout the year while memorizing specific verses. God’s Word is so amazing that, even when I’m reading familiar passages, the Holy Spirit reveals something unique and fresh about God’s character and who I am as His child.
The logos, or the written Word, tells us about God and the people who are part of The Big God Story—including us. But the rhema word is that living word God speaks to us personally. For example, let’s say that you are fighting with your sister and you say some unkind words. You apologize to her and ask for God’s forgiveness, but you still feel guilty. Suddenly, this Scripture pops into your mind: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). You realize that when you repent and ask for forgiveness, God removes that sin and it’s gone! God brought the verse you had memorized alive for your circumstance. Therefore, it’s important to not only read the Word but to meditate on it and commit it to memory.
Before we can understand who we are, we need to know our Creator. Reading the Bible is key to knowing God. Through the Bible, we learn (among other things) that God is loving, holy, good, just, mighty, merciful, and awesome. God created everything, and He made people in His likeness (Genesis 1:27). Unfortunately, the first people, Adam and Eve, didn’t trust God or realize their true identity. So, when they were tempted to “be like God,” they disobeyed and brought sin into every human born (Genesis 3:5–6). Our sin separates us from His presence (Colossians 1:21).
We see this in today’s society where there is so much focus on “self” and confusion of identity and purpose. But God loves us so much that He makes a way for us to be free from sin and brings us back into His family (John 3:16). Jesus takes our sin and gives us His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). Through Jesus, we not only can live in God’s presence, but God’s Holy Spirit lives in us to help us to become like God (2 Corinthians 3:18). Only in Jesus can we find our true identity and purpose.
HEAR IT – 2019
Scripture has a lot to say about the topic! There are over 100 verses to explore, so you can choose your own or use the following 12 verses—one for each month of the year. By the end of the year, you and your family will have a greater knowledge of God and who He created you to be!
JANUARY – I AM A NEW CREATION!
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
FEBRUARY – I AM LOVED!
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:10
MARCH – I AM GOD’S CHILD!
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12
APRIL – I AM FORGIVEN!
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
MAY – I HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST!
“’Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct Him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:16
JUNE – I AM GOD’S TEMPLE!
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.” 1 Corinthians 6:19
JULY – GOD CREATED ME TO DO GOOD WORKS!
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
AUGUST – I AM CHOSEN!
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9
SEPTEMBER – I AM NEVER ALONE!
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20b
OCTOBER – I AM PROTECTED FROM THE EVIL ONE!
“But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3
NOVEMBER – I HAVE VICTORY OVER SIN AND DEATH!
“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57
DECEMBER – I HAVE ETERNAL LIFE!
“ I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” John 10:28
Each month, commit a verse to memory. Find additional verses related to the verse by using a word search on the Internet or a Bible concordance. As you study these verses as a family, discuss the following:
– What does this verse teach me about God’s character?
– What does it mean that I am ______ (a new creation, God’s child, etc.)?
– What is one of your favorite promises of God?
– What can I do when I don’t feel like who God says I am?