I hope you all have had a blessed Christmas.
With the festivities over, and January underway, now is the time, if we haven’t already done so, to take some time out to spend with the Lord & ponder the new year stretching before us.
What are our hopes and dreams for 2018? I’m not talking about new year’s resolutions here; these tend to be the product of self-effort, and often end in disappointment and failure by the end of the month. They usually fail because it’s my idea, executed in my strength, for my purpose.
Looking at the year with the Lord is different. Our focus is on Him, His will, His purposes - although He tends to work with our innate desires, preferences, gifts and abilities, rather than against them. Too often we have the idea that the Lord is a hard taskmaster, always requiring us to lay down the things we love, and do the things we hate, because it is good for us! To be sure the Spirit does lead us through challenges and tests, but the ‘wilderness’ is a ‘passing through’ place, not a final destination. And yes, we are to 'take up our crosses & follow Him', but everyday life offers plenty of opportunity for this, we are not usually required to lay down all the things which make us uniquely us; rather the Lord wants to take these things, fill them with His Life & use them to bless a needy world.
So let’s ask: What have you got for me this year, Lord? How do You want me to grow & develop? What new things do You want me to learn? Which things do You want me to partner with You in? What are the ‘works’ You have for me this year? What is my part in the great adventure of bringing Your Kingdom to earth?
And then let’s expect great things – we were not designed to live pale, colourless lives.....
I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
[John 10:10 NKJV]
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