Archive for January, 2015

2015 is here and with it, the excitement of something new – a fresh start, a new year full of opportunity and possibility.

But how long will that excitement last?  How long before the stress of the everyday wears you out?  How long before the negative occurrences of the world begin to stack up and weigh you down?  It will be easy to allow the mundane or the tragic to rob you of your plans and your passion.  It might even happen without you noticing – because it is subtle.  You may look up three months from now and wonder to yourself, “What happened to my good intentions?  Oh well, that is just how it goes.”  So you’ll shrug and acquiesce to the reality that this year is just like the one before.

I would like to offer a different alternative.  What if this year, we expect more?  What if we expect more of ourselves?  What if we expect more of others?  What if we expect more of God?

Marv Knox is the editor of the Texas Baptist weekly publication, the Baptist Standard.  My inspiration for this thought comes from him.  He suggested last week that life could be different for us in 2015 if we expect more.

Do you believe that God is capable of making a change in your life?  Do you believe God is willing to make a change?  Does your life reflect that belief?

Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

Approach God’s throne of grace with confidence.  Some translations say “with boldness.”  The writer reminds us that we, as believers, can approach God with boldness, with confidence – with expectation.  Not because we deserve God’s action but because we believe God is a big God.

My challenge for you in 2015 is to make this a year in which you dare to expect more.  Dream big and expect God to move.  I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Be blessed!

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What will 2015 hold for us – for you?  What do you think God will do this year?  What will you do this year to make 2015 at least as memorable as 2014?

All over the world, people are making resolutions – and some have most likely already been broken.  We resolve to lose weight or live more healthily.  We resolve that we will work harder at being a better employee or spouse or parent.  Some of us might even resolve to make God a bigger part of our lives in the coming year.

The reality is, as worthy as each of these resolutions is, the majority of us won’t keep our commitments.  The good intentions solidified into an actual resolution will end up being just that, good intentions.  The result?  Another year, pretty much like last.

Now, before you get frustrated with my negativity, let me offer a simple thought that could make a difference in 2015 for you.

Instead of thinking about all the things you don’t like about yourself and your situation and resolving to change, ask yourself this question:  What are the desires God has for me this year?

In listing what you believe God wants for you this year, remember this criteria:

  1. God desperately wants a  relationship with you.
  2. Whatever you believe God’s desires for you to be – they must line up with scripture.

If you will consider what God would want 2015 to look like for you and do so with these two thoughts in mind, I think you will arrive at some healthy goals for 2015.

Goals are important.  When we aim for nothing we normally hit it.  So give it some thought.

God does love you and desires your fulfillment – just make sure you are looking for that fulfillment in the right place.

Be blessed!

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Here we are at the onset of a brand new year.  Call it sentimental, idealistic or simply psychological – but for me, standing here refreshes my soul and ignites my passion.  I see opportunity and adventure that comes with a new year.

Some may say, “January 1st is just another day like any other.”  I suppose that is true from a literal sense.  But for me, there is something exciting – even liberating and life-giving – about starting a new segment in time, a new leg of the journey.

Sometimes it might seem safer to hold on to the past and try and maintain what we see as comfortable.  Don’t get me wrong.  We need to remember the past – to reflect on it, celebrate it and learn from it.  The path before us is often harder to see if we don’t know where we are and where we have been.  So we look to the past as a reference, but we cannot dwell there.  Life demands that we press forward.

Isaiah 43:18-19 says this:

18 “Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.

The writer reminds us that we cannot get lost in the past, we have to keep looking forward. God is doing something new. The tone of the author is that we need to pay attention so that we don’t miss it.  Eugene Peterson in The Message translates this idea like this: Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?” He may have taken a bit of liberty with the text but I think he nailed the intent.  

It is so easy to get wrapped up in the past and take a passive attitude toward the future – as if the future is what is going to happen to us.  The writer of Isaiah reminds us that God is at work doing something fresh and new and we need to pay attention so that we can be actively involved in what is happening.

2015 is here.  We stand on the shore of a vast sea of possibility.  God is already at work creating something new and we are invited to join in.  Don’t miss it because you are too busy looking at the past.

How will you approach this opportunity?

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