HOW DID I DO WITH MY 2016 “ONE WORD”?

imageOn January 22, 2016 I received an email from my Pastor, inviting the leaders to seek the Lord for “On Word” to focus on for the year. It could represent something we believe the Lord wants to do in us or something we want the Lord to do for us. The word that came to me was “Fearless.” I struggle with not allowing fear to keep me from living the life I believe the Lord planned for me to live. I prayed that the Lord would free me from the spirit of fear. I know that a sense of fear keeps us dependent upon the Lord but I wanted to get to the place where I could embrace fear, not run from it.

The scripture I used is Proverbs 29:25 Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety.

The Spiritual impact I expected was I would obey God’s leading quicker, inspite of being afraid. I still struggle.

The Physical impact I expected was that I would increase my physical activity for health benefit and not be afraid that it wouldn’t show. I didn’t.

The Emotional impact I expected was that I would become open and more approachable. I have not.

The Relational impact I expected was to create greater intimacy with the few relationships I currently have. I have not.

The Mental impact I expected was to learn how to denounce the lies and accusations my enemy hurls at me and stand on what is true.  Still need to work on this.

The one thing I did learn in choosing “Fearless” as my “One Word” is that I can’t become this in my own strength. I need God’s help and the Holy Spirit’s power. I am more aware of fear’s operation and how Satan uses it to stifle God’s work in the earth. I will continue to submit to God’s work in me and His word, “Fear not. Be of good courage.” I am confident that Jesus will complete the work He has started in me.

Can I encourage you to spend some time with the Lord, during the next few days? He has plans for you. He knows what He wants to do in you and what you need Him to do to reflect Him. Let the Lord know that you want to cooperate with Him. It’s a lot easier that way. Listen for what the Holy Spirit is hearing from the Lord.

Then say, “Lord, I’m ready to submit to You and allow you to teach me how to not give in to fear but to trust You.”

I’m still listening for the Holy Spirit to give me 2017’s “One Word”.

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Have I Really Said, “Yes”?

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In Luke 1 we are told that when Mary enters the redemption story, she is a virgin. She had just gotten engaged to be married. I imagine that she was excited because her value had just increased, based on society’s standard. She would soon become someone’s wife. I imagine that she was certain that soon she would become a mother. Approved by her husband and God. Little did she know her future held different plans.

Gabriel appears to her and tells her, “The Lord is with you.” Mary is confused and disturbed. I can relate to that reaction. My thoughts would have been, “Yea, the Lord is with everyone. I’m no one special.” Mary tried to think what Gabriel meant. He calmed her and assured her that she had found favor with God.

Mary was a teenager and just engaged to be married. Gabriel tells her the following;

1. You will conceive and give birth to a son. (Ok, I can see that.)

2. You name him Jesus. (Ok, not sure why, but I will.)

3. He will be VERY great and will be called the Son of the Most High. (Uh what?!)

4. The Lord will give him the throne of his ancestor David. (Wait a minute!)

5. He will reign over Israel forever; his kingdom will never end! (This is where I would have struggled.)

Mary asked how. She verified that she was a virgin, ┬ánot yet married. Would that have been all I would have said? No. I would been like Moses, but I can’t ….. Or, but I’m not…… Or like Peter, after Jesus told him how he was going to die. What about him/her?

Mary’s response is in Luke 1:38 “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.”

Lord, I am your servant. When You invite me to be a part of building Your kingdom and I’m tempted to say “No thank you,” remind me of Mary. She trusted You. That You would provide her with everything she needed to do Your will. That if You found favor with her that that was good enough.

Will you say, with Mary, “I am Your servant. May everything you have said about me come true.”?

RECEIVE AND CELEBRATE THE GIFT.


This past Sunday’s message title was, “I’m Preparing Room.” The scripture focus was Matthew 2:1-12 NKJV. My pastor talked about the preparations that were made to receive Jesus, our Saviour. The wise men from the east brought their offerings to receive the promised Messiah. Mary and Joseph prepared the stable for Jesus’ arrival. Mary prepared her heart to receive the promised “Son of God”. He asked the question, “What are you doing to prepare for Christ?”

As I listened and pondered his question, my thoughts went to what the season is meant to be. The church uses this time of year to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Son of God. God loves mankind so much that He was willing to send His Son to take on flesh and blood and experiance our weaknesses. Then to give himself as the final sacrifice in order to redeem us to himself. This ultimate gift should be celebrated and appreciated. According to Matthew 1:21 Jesus was born to save his people from their sins. According to Luke 2:13-14 an angel was joined by a vast host of others-the armies of heaven-praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” Peace arrived to earth.

I thought about how prevalent the spirit of depression is during this time. When the earth should be celebrating the arrival of peace and joy, through the birth of the Messiah, many are depressed and despairing of life. We have an enemy who seeks to kill, steal, and destroy. He seeks to kill our joy, steal our peace, and destroy our hope.

I felt challanged by the Lord, through my pastor. When it’s our birthday we expect others to celebrate our day not make it about them. Don’t attend my birthday party and get upset because we’re not celebrating you.

Christmas is not about my expections being met. Gifts being given to me. Only spending time with the people I like. Christmas is about me making room in my life and my heart for Jesus. Get rid of the things that are distracting me from spending time with the Lord. Not just asking and seeking but also listening and obeying. Get rid of the things in my heart and the thoughts in my mind that are preventing me from reflecting my Saviour to the world.

What do you need to do to make room for the Messiah? Do you need to get rid of some relationships? Do you need to renew your mind so your actions/words reflect your Saviour? Decide to not make this Christmas about you but the gift God has offered.