The division in our world, or even family, can be overwhelming. But we cannot lose our focus on the Lord. Pastor Lutzer consecrates the start of each year with a word that brings focus to what really matters. As you open your life before God, seeking His wisdom and guidance, what’s your word for this year?
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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer.” Well this is a special opportunity for me to wish you a very blessed New Year. And I want to give you a suggestion that I think will help you all throughout the coming year. But first of all I have a question for you: How well do you keep New Year’s resolutions? Well, if you’re like me, not very well. I oftentimes begin saying I’m going to read so many pages everyday or even I’m going to read three or four chapters of the Bible everyday and oftentimes I don’t follow through. In recent years it has occurred to me (and this idea was not original with me) — one thing that I’ve been doing and I want you to do because I think it’ll be a blessing to you — is to choose a word for the year and then focus on that word every single day.
For example, last year my word was “worship.” Every morning when I got out of bed and sat in my study, I quoted some of the verses from the Psalms. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!” or “I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” The idea of worshiping God was something that I did every single day. Well, as I contemplate the brand new year, I have another word, a different word, that I’d like to share with you.
But first of all, I want to emphasize that it has been a very difficult year, hasn’t it? We, of course, as a nation, are divided politically. We are divided racially. We’re divided—well we could even say economically. We don’t know where the future is going. But we are along for the ride. But in addition to that, I want to speak to your heart directly. I’m speaking to you, of course, unscripted. I want you to ask this question of yourself. What about the division that is happening within your family? Many of you have children who are deconstructing their faith. Some of you may have trouble in your marriages. Your personal relationships could be very very difficult and strained.
What one word would I like to share with you this coming year? It has, of course, to do with prayer, yes, but it’s different than prayer. It is the word “seek.” Just the other day, I took the time to look up the phrase “seek the Lord” and I discovered that all through the scriptures dozens of times that phrase occurs. And you know, seeking the Lord is different than simply praying. It is taking our lives, opening our lives before him, asking Him to examine us, then seeking His wisdom, seeking His guidance, and asking Him to lead us in ways that perhaps we cannot predict. For example, I’m thinking right now of Psalm 119:10, where it says (and this would be my prayer for the brand new year): “Seek the Lord with your whole heart” and then the rest of the verse, I think, says: “…and do not wander from His commandments.” Can you and I agree to do that? In a world where there is so much busyness, so much ranker, so much back and forth, anger is everywhere on social media, in our relationships? Can we seek the Lord while He may be found, for example? The Bible says, “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon Him when he is near.” Seek God every single day. Open your life to Him. Give Him your worship. Yes, I’m going to continue to do that but this is the year when, by God’s grace and strength, I’m going to seek His face.
And in order to bless you, as I think about the future, let me give you a blessing that comes to us from the sixth chapter of the book of Numbers. “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord cause his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” May this be the year that we seek God.
Thank you so much for listening. I hope that you continue to listen to “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer.” We’re going to be embarking on a brand new series that I think is going to be of tremendous help in thinking through what is happening in our culture, what is happening in our relationship with God; but let us seek Him together. As for today, well, you already know what I’m going to say. You just go with God.