The year is new and shines fresh and promising. By the end of the year, I'm sure things will be different. The year will possibly end with chips and dents in it, maybe a couple of scratches, but that's okay. I hope for nothing less because I want to LIVE this year.
And twenty eleven begins with a promise. With hundreds of promises actually. From the King of all. And there's been one particular promise that He has shown me, that has been speaking to me, lifting me up and giving me courage within the past few months. I figure it would be a pretty good way to start out a new year.
Philippians 1:6 NLT
"And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns."
I don't remember when it was this past year that this verse really popped out at me, but it has blessed me so much and excites me! I've heard it for so long, but it didn't really change me until these past few months.
You see, when I read this verse, this is what I get. When God saved me, He began a good work in me, started working in my heart, in my life, and this verse to me is a promise that HE WON'T GIVE UP ON ME! It means that He's not just going to put down His work in me. Rather, I can be CONFIDENT that He will change my heart and keep making me like Him so that I WON'T be the same this time next year. I won't be the same a month from now. He'll keep working until the work is finished.
This verse also really helped calm a fear I was struggling with. You see, there's this particular prayer request that's been on my mind fairly often, and I've been kind of worried that I wouldn't really listen to the answer, that I'd choose against God's heart. And then Jesus brings Philippians into my heart. Jesus has the power to change my heart and my desires and my mind. He'll give me enough strength to make the right decision if He is my choice. Granted, that's no promise that it will be easy if I am asked to give up what I want to hold on to, but it reminds me that Jesus will keep working on me and will give me the tools to answer Him with a "Yes, Lord." We're still on His Potter's Wheel, friends! Mmm . . . a good thing!
I walk into this year with promise. That Jesus has plans to change me, work in me in 2011. I am excited for this!
I walk into this year with communion, with the reminder that His blood has cleaned me new, that I am no longer just danae but HIS.
I walk into this year with excitement for the adventures and memories ahead. There are so many possibilities for this year. Possibilities for deeper friendships and learning more about Jesus and maybe gaining direction for my life.
I walk into this year with resolutions. Well, I'm still working on them. I still have some thinking to do, but Pastor Phil reminded us this Sunday that where there is no vision, the peoples perish. We must have goals. We must be reaching for something, or we will never grow. The prayer is courage, that we will be brave enough to set BIG goals, SCARY goals because He is a BIG God, and He wants to take us farther than we think we can go. It's ADVENTURE! You ready? I'll go with you! Let's RUN!
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV