Here's to a new year! For each of you reading, my prayers are with you that your aim and focus may be increased more and more upon and for Christ. There's no greater life than one that is lived for the Lord and 2014 can be the year that you surrender everything to His work, His calling, His love and His Lordship.
Below are seven quick thoughts from Scripture that are easy to meditate on and that will give you a renewed spirit of service. As you survey these, take a moment to reflect on the past year, where God has brought you and where you want to go, by His will and strength. May these bless you!
Take delight in the Lord! Intensely search out the ways the Bible promotes joy in Christ! This is absolutely imperative. You must find delight and enjoyment and savoring in God and His grace, His sovereignty. If you miss this, you will not experience growth or true, spiritual blessing.
Psalm 37:4 “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”
Place your sights on things of the Lord; furthering the Gospel, prayer, His promises. Don’t be swallowed up in the world’s fleeting sparkles of temporary delight. Every day there’s something new to catch your eye, something new claiming to change your life but it’s all short-lived. These things will be burned away one day soon.
Colossians 3:1-3 “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”
Live this year in determined strength to know Christ better! Desire to know Him as well as He knows you! The more you learn about our great Savior, the more you’ll love Him. The more you love Him, the more you’ll serve him.
Philippians 3:8, 10 “…I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ…That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.”
God is still giving and will continue to give what we need to serve Him! The word ‘cometh’ is an active and current word meaning that His gifts continue to and will continue to come down to those that seek and ask. They are gifts of His nature and gifts that will accomplish their intended purposes.
James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
Know you’re not alone in trials or persecution. Even if no one else is there, Christ is. Paul had been forsaken by all the other Christians around. There may be a time this year when you experience this kind of storm. Paul almost dismisses it completely because he trusted that God would stand by him.
II Timothy 4:16, 17 “At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.”
Work! Work, for God is with you! Work because He works in you! Work out your salvation in fear in trembling, the Bible says! Now is the not the time to stop. Redeem the time, sow the precious seed. Continue the work that Jesus began while on this earth; it is our command.
Haggai 2:4, 5 “Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts. According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not.”
Be assured, as you work, you labor not in vain; there is great reward! Work, first because you’re called to and love God but secondly, continue to work, regardless of circumstance and opposition. You will one day be rewarded greatly for your service to the King. Don’t give up! Be steadfast!
Colossians 3:24 “Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”