Happy New Year 2016 all!! Hip hip hooray it’s a new day! I always tell people, “Every day is a second chance.” A new beginning, a fresh start. Isn’t it great? Are we ready for a new year? “According to the Lord’s word (thank you Father for your word)… we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.” – 1 Thes. 4:15. Lord, if we are not yet asleep, I want to be alive for you! Let’s start this year making it better than the last for He will not fail us, ever.
We are called to love. Love God and love others as God loves us. This is the greatest commandment. If we are seeking obedience to God this is by far the first and foremost single key to our success. So how do you do this?
God will acknowledge your willingness. He knows your heart! We can all learn a thing or two from the apostle Paul. “Becoming all things to all people.” – 1 Cor. 9:22 Take a self evaluation for a moment. How do you relate to others? What are your thoughts when you look upon other people, those you know and don’t know? As you go through your day and interact with the waitress at the restaurant or the attendant behind the gas station counter, bumping into carts at the grocery store, what goes through your mind? When your eyes see what does your heart feel and your head tell you? Hint: Jesus did not shy away from sinners. Keeping in flow of Paul’s advice, we too should not be shunning people we don’t agree with or push our legalistic viewpoints. Instead, we ought to have compassion and extend grace to others. In doing so they will be seeing our light and seeds will be planted.
Find common ground with people. You can still listen without giving up your Christian values and beliefs. Therefore, do not become discouraged (or worse yet) defensive with others. This does not show the light and does not help the world to know our God, Lord bless us.
So what about the “arrows that fly (at us) by day…” (emphasis added) – Ps. 91:5 Our focus is to be true to God and leave how others are/or how they treat us up to Him to judge and avenge. Take Jesus’ yoke for the burden is light. The heavy burdens we carry should be left in God’s hands, not ours. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. In the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” – Matt. 7:1-2 I like to ask people, “Is that a stone you want to pick up and put in your backpack? Because all of those stones we pick up and keep are weighing us down.” Burden.
Trust is tough. I, too, am skeptical of my leaders. Skeptical of others and their intentions. Instead of worry turn your skepticism into prayer. Pray for your leadership in making sound decisions for the people, the company, and the customers. Let the Lord know you are struggling to trust and believe, then lift the burden up to Him. Every person is imperfect and fallen. Not one person is free of sin. Nor is any one person on a pedastal greater than another. When we put our hope and focus into other people they will fail us because of these things. Put your hope into the Lord, He will not fail you and His promises remain.
Kind David was known as a “man after God’s own heart”. – Acts 13:22 What do you want your epitaph to be? What should people read about you in one sentence? Perhaps there are thoughts, activities, actions that need to be removed, or what things need to be added in order for you to become a man or woman after God’s own heart?
Jesus, help us to become better people this new year. We desire to love others as you have loved us. As you have commanded us to doing. We are imperfect sinners and we thank you for the grace given in advance for this. The greatest gift of all is given to us who are most undeserving of it. You will never fail us, and though we ask for things because we think we know what we need, you know us from beginning to end. Like a father knows his child, you know us better than ourselves. Let nothing stop with just us, but that the knowledge and light we gain continue through onto others for this is how the world will know who the true God of the universe is. We pray to not give off a false impression of who you are Lord, keep us strong and steadfast. ~Amen