Now that a new year is upon us, we hear a lot about resolutions and goal setting. There’s also a lot of talk about when we will break those resolutions. But we don’t need a new year to make a change. With God, every day is fresh and new.
Lamentations 3:22-23 (HCSB)
Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end.
They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!
Like turning the page of a calendar, change is inevitable. But God’s love is always present. He is here, right now, and into the future, ready to give you hope.
Jeremiah 29:11 (HCSB)
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
If you are going to set resolutions, just set one. Spend quality time with your Heavenly Father every day. The rest of your life will fall into place.
Walk in the Light,
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17
Looking back over 2012, I see God in the details. He was there when my son was admitted to ICU. He was there when we went on our first cruise and enjoyed Paradise Island. He was there in the early morning hours when I wrote my first Bible Study. Through tough days at work, school presentations, leading a Bible Study, girls nights out, birthdays, holidays, bicycle rides, a trip to Bethlehem revisited, Christmas with my parents, and coffee with friends, I found my Savior when I looked for Him. I’ve been blessed with many good gifts this past year, and continue to enjoy gifts I was given years before.
James tells us that every good and perfect gift is from above. To acknowledge my many blessings, I started a Gratitude Journal for Lent 2012. I simply thanked God every day for five things He had given me. Every day I wrote down different blessings. When Lent was over, I kept up the journal, because it had changed me. I had become even more aware of the blessings that surround me.
My prayer for you is to see and enjoy the many blessings God provides everyday. As you do so, I pray you come to enjoy a rich relationship with your Heavenly Father.
Walk in His Light,
The God who created our universe also created science, or perhaps to be more precise, created the laws of science and physics. These laws are some of the ways to see Him and get to know our God as we interact with His creation constantly. This was my mind set as I opened to Genesis 1 and began reading.
Meditate on the Creation Story, Genesis 1:1-19. Part of the passage is reprinted below:
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.” Gen.1:1-19.
What?? Back up! God didn’t make the sun, moon and stars until the fourth day of Creation? So what was the light on Day 1?
Let’s ponder that observation for a moment.
– What were the first words God spoke in the Bible?
– What else did God make on the first day?
Your answers reveal where you have concentrated your study of Scripture. Follow the Light is an eight week Bible Study that explores how God reveals Himself to us throughout the Bible, using the metaphor light. When you complete this study you may never look at light the same way again.
Live in His Light,
Learning to listen is a skill, an art really. I experienced what it means to listen, really listen, when I wrote my first book.
I didn’t set out to write anything; it happened because I began listening to inspiration and wrote those initital thoughts down. This went on for a few weeks so I spoke to my Pastor about it. His advice was just to keep writing, and enjoy the experience. I was rewarded with fresh and profound insights from my Lord and Savior. The ride He took me on was rich and enlightening, designed for me, but meant to be shared.
I had never tried such an undertaking before. I studied business in college. But in my profession (Human Resources Manager) I had occasions to write. Small things – newsletters, employee handbooks, training manuals, and the occasional performance review. I knew I could write, and I’ve never been at a loss for words – until now. Finishing my first personal writing project has put me at a loss for words, because I didn’t really write it, I typed it. I listened to my heart – I listened to God, and the words flowed.
There is much Biblical precedence for listening to God speak to you. Here are a few verses from the Book of Proverbs (NIV):
Proverbs 1:5: Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance
Proverbs 1:33: But whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”
Proverbs 4:10: Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many.
Proverbs 8:6: Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right.
In the days that follow, I will post excerpts from this Bible Study and tell you more about this amazing adventure my Savior took me on, because I was willing to listen. I pray you open your heart and listen to what He has to say to you, too.
The presents are opened. We enjoyed the feast. For some, the magic of Christmas is over. But it doesn’t have to be. Christmas is really about the most incredible gift of all, a Savior determined to redeem us – with incredible love. That gift is available all the time. We can share that love. We all need help and encouragement, a kind word, a hug and a smile. We can keep Christmas alive, all the time, by our words and actions to each other.
May your Christmas last all year long.
Christmas is such a wondrous time of year, as we celebrate the birth of our King. We celebrate each other and relish in the plan God created to save our world. We celebrate family and friends. There seems to be magic in the air. Yes, Christmas is spectacular, but imagine how much more incredible it will be when Christ returns again.
I remember waiting for Christmas when I was a kid. Oh the anticipation…I knew something incredibly good was coming. It seemed like Christmas would never arrive. That’s how it is waiting for Christ to return again. We know it’s going to be worth the anticipation.
“The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5
We can’t wrap our heads around what happened in that small Connecticut town on a quiet Friday morning. We aren’t supposed to. Children of the light answer to God, we aren’t expected to explain evil. While we do have to live in a broken world, we can be a light for others. Be light to those you meet.