May 2017 be the year that the Lord works a new and deep opportunity in you.
Steeped in the prophets, embedded in the land, drenched in religion, created for the glory of God, and focused upon Jesus, early Christians walked a different path.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Once the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the Christ followers on the Day of Pentecost, their lives were forever changed. The power of the Holy Spirit governed their lives and drew men and women to them.
They [Christ followers] were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. … Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47
Looking at 2014, it was a year of opportunities and loss; it was a year about the Lord changing my path.
Looking to the present, it is about listening to the Lord.
Looking forward, it IS about Jesus forging new entrances to the road less traveled.
What is 2015 about for you?
Father, bless us indeed, create new roads for us; take us by the right hand and lead us down these new roads, and empower us to point people to You.
May you press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus in 2015
And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span? If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith! And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying. For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Luke 12:25-31
I often walk to meetings about 1/4 mile away from my office. There’s a vacant lot that burst forth in vivid color this spring, and the flowers are still blooming in December. Weeds have grown up among the wildflowers, and, yet, the flowers lift their faces to the sun for warmth and nourishment.
In this hustle-bustle season, it’s easy to let the weeds of the season pop up around us. We scurry from one department store to the next to buy gifts for people who will return them after Christmas. We bake treats that add pounds that we’ll work hard to remove after the New Year. We write newsy letters to people we haven’t spoken to all year. We decorate our homes and offices; several weeks later, we pack the decorations into boxes to store for the next season. We sing Santa and reindeer songs. We fill our calendars with parties and gatherings.
We wish “Happy Holidays” to everyone and “Merry Christmas” to a select few. We attend church services and children’s plays.
Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.
Consider Jesus. What if we took time to lift our faces towards Jesus in the midst of the weeds of the season to let the Son kiss us with His warmth and nourishment?
What if we trusted that if we sought His kingdom and the true meaning of His gift to the world?
Could all these things be added — with a beauty and splendor that befits the King we serve?
My prayer for you:
Father, this is a season that is filled with tradition, festivities, demands. Sometimes, we drive ourselves into exhaustion. Holy Spirit, give us wisdom as we prepare our homes, our families, and our festivities and prompt us to lift our faces toward Jesus … to wait upon Him in the beauty of His holiness. Thank you, Jesus, for Your gift, You gave it all for us. You have brought Joy to the world!