I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, which I am commanding you today; and the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of the Lord your God.
Every day in America, we are engaged in endless activities. We make numerous decisions. But as we stand on the brink of 2023, the greatest decision you are going to make in the coming year has nothing to do with what car you are going to drive, where you are going to live, or where you are going to work. The single greatest question you are going to face in 2023 is this: Are you going to make loving, serving, and obeying God your highest priority? Or are you going to allow your life to be once again swept away by the endless activities and concerns of everyday life? In 2023, are you going to experience God’s blessing, or are you going to experience His discipline?
The children of Israel faced a similar choice as they stood on the brink of a new era in their lives. At this point, they had been miraculously delivered out of slavery in Egypt, and God had provided for their needs in the desert. Then when they had arrived at the entry point into the promised land, God had told them to send twelve spies into the land to see what awaited them. Ten of the spies said there were too many obstacles to overcome, while two of the spies said God would surely give them the land He had promised. The people chose to believe the majority report, and as a result they were sentenced to forty years of wandering in the wilderness.
The forty years had passed. Those who disbelieved God were disciplined, and a new generation now stood on the brink of the promised land. In Deuteronomy 11:26-28, Moses, who was now an old man, reminded the people of the choice before them. He said, “I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, which I am commanding you today; and the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today, by following other gods which you have not known.”
Moses was saying, “What do you want to face in the years ahead? Do you want to obey God and experience His blessing, or disobey God and receive His discipline?”
Today, you and I face the same choice. As you stand on the brink of a new year, ask yourself, “What do I want for myself and my family in 2023? Do I want God’s blessings, or do I want His discipline?”
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “New Year . . . New Choices” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2015.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org