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A New Year – What is God saying to me?

January 11, 2012

I am not a big believer in resolutions.  Oh, I have the resolve to set goals and see them through, but my dislike of resolutions has to do with the push to make drastic changes simply because I got a new calendar.  It seems that since the bus crash I have been earnestly seeking what is God’s plan in all of this (aka my life).  The truth is at that precise moment all my sensibilities, my pride, my thoughts, and my desires were stripped away.  Sure I was a Christian, but I also had a whole lot of MY will inserted in there.  It was at that moment that God laid bare my heart and tenderly and gently picked it up,  cradled and comforted it, put it back together, and helped me to see what the real purpose was of His Son’s death (not to mention the lessons taught to me about the death of my own son) – to show his love for the world.  That may seem like a stretch for some people. But if what I believed to be true in the morning of February 19, 2008 wasn’t true that night, then Jesus’ horrible death was for nothing.  So I choose to believe in Jesus, and in God’s undeniable MESSAGE OF LOVE. 

Resolutions seem to be a reminder of MY plans, and I am not sure that they fit with God’s plan for my life.  Instead I choose to focus on what stirrings God has placed in my heart no matter when they come.  Lately that stirring is for humility, forgiveness, and servanthood. I am learning that in the past, I cared about titles and accomplishments, and now, they don’t seem important.  Now I want to see the world through God’s eyes and through Jesus model of coming to earth to serve.  Yet the only way that I can do that is by staying in His Word and by using my words and knees to talk and pray. 

 I am continuing with my goal for several years of reading the Bible cover to cover.  (Yes, I know that isn’t what most people recommend, but that plan is working undeniably well for me.  In fact, I cried as I told Daniel the other night that I have fallen in love with God’s word.  It IS that inspiring to me.)  I didn’t finish the whole Bible in a year, but I will press on toward the goal.  To kick off the New Year, I thought I would share one of my recent devotions that was paired with my Bible reading in the Book of Luke.  I don’t believe in coincidence; so, this devotion resonated with my soul as to what God has been stirring in me.  I hope by sharing it – you find some stirrings in your heart as well. 

This is based on the selection Luke 14:1-72.  The devotion is an excerpt from A Love Worth Giving by Max Lucado. 

Would you do what Jesus did?  He swapped a spotless castle for a grimy stable.  He exchanged the worship of angels for the company of killers.  He could hold the universe in his palm but gave it up to float in the womb of a maiden. 

If you were God, would you sleep on straw, nurse from a breast, and be clothed in a diaper?  I wouldn’t, but Christ did.

If you knew that only a few would care that you came, would you still come? If you knew that those who you loved would laugh in your face, would you still care?  If you knew that the tongues you made would mock you, the mouths you made would spit at you, the hands you made would crucify you, would you still make them? Christ did.  Would you regard the immobile and invalid more important than yourself? Jesus did.

He humbled himself.  He went from commanding angels to sleeping in the straw.  From holding stars to clutching Mary’s finger.  The palm that held the universe took the nail of a soldier.

Why? Because that’s what love does. It puts the beloved before itself.  Your soul was more important than his earthly life.  Your place in heaven was more important to him than his place in heaven, so he gave up his so you could have yours. 

He loves you that much and because he loves you, you are of prime importance to him. 

Christ stands in contrast to the barnyard.  He points to the sparrow, the most inexpensive bird of his day, and says, “Five sparrows are sold for only two pennies, and God does not forget any of them . . . You are worth much more than many sparrows” (Luke 12:6-7 NCV)

God remembers the small birds of the world.  We remember the eagles.  We make bronze statues of the hawk.  We name our athletic teams after the falcons.  But God notices the sparrows.  He makes time for the children and takes note of the lepers.  He offers the woman in adultery a second chance and the thief on the cross a personal invitation.  Christ is partial to the beat up and done in and urges us to follow suit.  “When you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind” (Luke 14:13 NCV)

Want to love others as God has loved you?  Come thirsty.  Drink deeply of God’s love for you, and ask him to fill your heart with a love worth giving. 

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