This morning I was reading and reflecting in 1 Peter. This passage jumped off the page:
“And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” (1 Peter 1:17-19)
In this life, we are not home but we who are in Christ are in ‘exile’ awaiting our uniting with Him. Peter urges us to reflect on the fact that we have been bought with a price – a ransom – from this world. The ransom was paid by the eternal and lamb of God, Jesus Himself.
Take a minute to re-read this passage and ask the Lord to open your eyes to any conduct in your life not in alignment with our Lord. Confess whatever comes to mind and lean into Him for His grace to conduct yourself in a manner worthy of Him who called you into His own Kingdom.
This is the time of the year that I typically do a lot of reflection on the past year and spend some time thinking about what may be coming in the new year. Perhaps you are like me. Here are some questions that can assist in looking forward:
- What do I want to see the Lord do in my life now and perhaps in the coming year?
- What are some of the burdens I have for my family, friends and ministry? How does the Lord want me to pray for these?
- Is there one verse or promise that I want to pray for in my life in the coming year?
- What am I anxious about as I think of the coming year?
These are suggestive questions. I really am not advocating detailed planning for the new year. I read in James this morning words of caution and perspective that brings focus to our hopes and plans.
“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’ — yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” (James 4:13-17)
May you see His amazing grace and goodness in the coming year.
This blog post comes to you just a few days before the new year.
This is a good time to take a few minutes to reflect on the past year with these suggested questions:
- What was most painful about the year?
- How did God intervene in your life this last year?
- What do you thank the Lord for from this past year?
- How have you seen His goodness in this last year?
Jesus came that we might have life and have it abundantly.
Hoping you and yours had a blessed Christmas and have a grace-filled new year.
Read Luke 1:26-38
Watch MentorLink’s “40 Days with Jesus – Day 2“*
Key Verse: “Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (Lk. 1:38)
Only a young teenager, Mary had a startling and life-changing encounter. The angel, Gabriel, came to her to announce amazing news and promises.
- She was favored
- The Lord was with her
- She would conceive and bear a son named Jesus
- He would be great
- He would be called the Son of the Most High
- God will give him the throne of his father David
- He will reign over the house of Jacob forever
- His kingdom will have no end
- This would happen even though she was a virgin
- To validate the message, her relative, Elizabeth, in her old age was pregnant – a miracle to all who heard of it
She was to be the mother of the King of Israel who would sit on the throne of David forever and ever. Mary knew her Bible and knew that Jesus was the coming Messiah all faithful Jews were waiting for. She was to be the Messiah’s mother! Wow! What a privilege and responsibility.
How would I respond if this were me? Pride; arrogance; wanting all the details and the plan laid out – these are only some of the feelings or thoughts that would run through my mind. How would you have responded? If you were Mary, what would you be thinking or feeling?
I am humbled at the response of Mary. She said: “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Faith is as faith responds. Mary trusted the Lord’s promises. She responded in her heart with obedience.
Lord, may I respond like Mary to your amazing promises.
*To watch “40 Days with Jesus – Day 2” go to http://www.mentorlink.org and under “Resources” click on link “Days with Jesus” then click on link “40 Days with Jesus” then click on link “Day 2 -Miraculous Birth”.