Shining light

Matthew 5:16

Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

I am not a behaviorist by which I mean, I do not teach and preach behaviors. I try to lead people to a full, rich relationship with Jesus believing that the relationship takes care of any behavioral issues. It seems best to let Jesus lead us in the way to go rather than to push people through guilt and judgment.

Having said that, Jesus describes what life looks like when we do surrender to his lordship. Our lives and behaviors glorify our Father. Christianity does not require that we behave in a certain way so that God will love us. In fact, it is just the opposite. We behave in a way that honors Him precisely because He loves us. His love motivates us.

Now, at the beginning of a new year, is a great time to begin to sensitize ourselves to Yahweh’s presence and presents. Christmas is still fresh in our minds, a time when we celebrate the new life He gave us in Christ Jesus. It is that love, the love which sent Jesus to earth that gives us rebirth and the new year is a very real symbol of renewal.

Take time to turn your sensitivity to your life in Christ. Pay attention to the voice of your heart. Pause to listen to what the Lord is saying to you daily. When you do, behavioral modification is not such an issue. Your light will shine so that everyone sees the love of God living in you.

Happy New Year

Revelation 21:5

And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”

Happy New Year! And why shouldn’t we celebrate the beginning of a new year? Surely the last two years have been unique with their challenge, but each year holds the promise of new beginnings. I am reminded of a newly minted penny. Though it is the smallest of all denominations, worth the least monetarily, it outshines all other minted coins in its radiance as it heralds its entrance into the world. No other coin, regardless of its engravings or monetary value captures the attention and imagination like a new penny. And that is how I think of the New Year; shiny and glistening in its newness.

I like the beginning of a new year because of the hope and promise it brings. Equally important is its lack of history. The new year has only two days of history. It only has the history we ascribe to it. Largely, then, the joy of the New Year is a matter of perspective and attitude. As adults, of course, we bring some history forward with the new year. We probably have the same job we did in December 2021, and some pending to do’s as well as a host of other responsibilities. However, the beginning of the new year is a time when we can give ourselves license to adopt new opportunities and perhaps decide others no longer fit our needs. It is a time to stop and reflect on our course. The promise of the new year is that we can begin again. I believe that those who will stop their forward momentum, just for a moment, and reflect on their path will gain a clean perspective and, perhaps, a new vision. Sometimes, we are in such a hurry, rushing down the path, that we fail to notice that we were in need of a course correction several miles back. Pause long enough to take a deep breath and recover your equilibrium. Actually take the time to consider your course. Listen. God wants to do great things with you this year. I believe that from the bottom of my heart. You get to choose, today, if you will run with God or if you will stumble through another year. Lift your head and look at the stars. There is a universe of potential out there for you. Stop, breathe, listen, consider. What do you see with the eyes of your heart? What do you want?

I wish for you a year full of adventure. I pray the challenges you find are the kind which bring joy and growth. My hope is that you will stop and consider what you want from this new year. What star would you grab if you believed it within your reach? What is it that you are afraid to hope for but really want? May the blessing of a new year warm you with the hope of its possibilities.

Happy New Year

Revelation 21: 5

And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”

I love the beginning of the new year. Everything is new again. We all get a do over. The past is behind us and no longer need plague us. The future holds endless possibilities. We get to write on a blank slate. What do you want? What is in your heart of hearts? What is it that you are even afraid to articulate to yourself? This is the time of opportunity. Jesus said he is making all things new. That is great news! Is there anything in your life which could stand being remade? Most of us have areas that we think need an overhaul. Today is the day we get to start our new future. Behold, the old things have passed away and everything is brand new.

I hope you had a really good 2017 but 2018 holds even more promise. We will have more revelation this year than last. Jesus will be even more with you this year than last. This is the moment for which you have waited. This is the time for emergence in new ways. This is the time of new possibilities. Things that seemed impossible last year become possible this year. Things you didn’t even dare to dream become your living realities.

The secret to attaining to new heights this year is twofold. First, you must release the past. The past is an anchor. We have all made mistakes. We have all failed. In all of history there are few people who missed God’s leading more than he who became the Apostle Paul. If God can make over a man like Saul into a great prophet and guide, then what can He do with you and me? We have never persecuted and stoned Christians just for their beliefs. Let go of the past. Let it be in the past, behind you and cast your vision forward. Look to the horizon and find new dreams or perhaps revive a few old one’s.

Second, believe! Believe that Jesus is more than able to do a new thing with you. I don’t care if you are 15 years old or 115, today is a new day full of possibilities. You are not too young or too old. You are not the wrong gender or race. You are not insignificant. You are a kingdom possibility. You are God’s miracle in the making.

Do not be dissuaded from believing in the impossible. The impossible is what God has given us to pursue. If a thing is possible, where is the challenge and why would you need God? Just do the possible but seek the impossible. That is where your life with the Lord lies. Believe that with you and God all things are possible. Don’t believe the world. Believe me. Believe me when I tell you that you can do what is in your heart because that is where Jesus lives and your desire is his. He wants to do great things and he wants to do them with you. What would you do if it was impossible to fail? Don’t try to figure out how to do it, that is God’s problem. Just begin believing, hoping and dreaming. Feed that dream daily. Believe when there is no obvious solution. Believe when it is impossible.

Let us make this our year to believe and achieve. With God, truly, all things are possible so what do you want to do? How big can you dream? That is your part – dream and believe God is capable. If you focus on those two pieces, God will turn them into reality. Let’s make this the year of the Lord in our lives. This is your year of jubilee. Be free and be made new. Happy New Year!

Fresh Start

2 Corinthians 5: 17               (NIRV)

The old is gone! The new has come!

Hallelujah! Old things are gone and it is a new day! Our old nature is gone and a new creation is born. Yesterday is firmly in the past and it is a bright new day. Last year is behind us and we have a brand new, clean slate upon which to write. The old things are passed away with all their sorrow and worry. If last year was a bit tough, fear not because it is a new day and we all get a do over. We can have new hopes and new dreams. They are not tarnished by last year’s failures, fears or lack. We get to start with a new, fresh, clean outlook. No matter how difficult your past, no matter what restraints hindered you last year or years previous, today is a new day and you get to write the story anyway you wish. Do not even consider your past as you look into your future. The old is gone! It is dead and passed away. Jesus says in Revelation 21: 5, “Behold, I do a new thing.” He makes all things new.

Were you ever hampered by low self-esteem? Did you have a disadvantage past? Were you subject to crippling fears, health challenges, loneliness? Well, I’ve great news for you today! That is all in the past. It is a new year and this new year has in its breath the hope of great and wonderful things for you. You can soar like you never before even dreamed possible. It has the hope of a future. It is a fresh, faced youth with no past only a bright and glorious future. It is forward looking and has belief in all opportunities and excited anticipation of the numerous and magnificent blessings the Lord has in store for you.

Don’t look behind you anymore. You do not have to carry your past into your future. It is dead and gone. Leave it buried. You are a new creation and you have a brand new start beginning today. Grab a hold of your newness. Embrace your own freshness. Let you be you perhaps for the first time in your life. Do not be what others made you to be, give free expression to the glorious creature God created in you. Don’t let age hinder you. Don’t let anything constrain you. You are God’s most glorious creation and He wants to see you soar on the winds the way he created you to. Past injuries? They are history. You are a new creature; born anew with no hurts or anxieties when you let the Lord, our God be your father; your dad. He is a great and wonderful parent who has re-birthed you. He has never and will never treat you in any way that would cause you injury or trauma. You are brand new today. Throw away all of the past and believe for your bright future. It is calling you. It is beckoning. Answer the call and Happy New Year!