Another option to making a New Year's resolution is to ask God where you are to follow the Lord to and into.
Lord God, where, what and to whom do you want me to follow you to in 2011?
2 John 1:3 Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father's Son.
My son-in-law just returned from a business trip to Hawaii and he brought me some jelly with a trinity of ingredients. Separately they would all be good, but combined in a trinity they have a unique deliciousness (which I tasted on my wife's home made cornbread this morning). Even more so are grace, mercy and peace from God. Try some of it on your interactions this week, and taste their deliciousness.
17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.
These words in Habakkuk 3 (if applied), can keep a person moving forward in the face of negative issues. I tend to rejoice (get happy), when things go my way. I also tend to not rejoice when what I work for doesn't produce, what I exercise towards doesn't come through, what I pray for isn't manifested, etc. This is truly counter intuitive, and is the life of faith. Nothing can replace a Word from the bible in a person's life. Take a moment and try this
Habakkuk 2:15 "Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbors,
pouring it from the wineskin till they are drunk,
so that he can gaze on their naked bodies!
16 You will be filled with shame instead of glory.
Just a little FYI, for hosting and attending Holiday Parties.
Here is an Islamic greeting/blessing that is excellent. "May every year find you in good health!" Try it, the next time you are in the presence of a person who is of the Islamic faith. They will know you are attempting a Christ like connection, even if you add, a "Merry Christmas and…"
If called upon for a public invocation, this is excellent addition and a Jewish person will automatically know you are including them in the blessing.
"Blessed are you, Lord our God,
King of the universe
Who wrought miracles for our fathers in days of old, at this season."
My own Craig's list at Christmas is that common ground is a better choice than compromise or confrontation.
Lord, help us manifest peace on earth, good will towards all mankind.
In Jesus name, amen.
Nothing? Nothing shall cause us to separate from the Love of God (Romans 8:37-39)? I have separated from the love of God, and entered into a less than positive flow. I have responded in less than a love of God way to many situations, scenarios and people.
Our experiences can trump truth, and we can come to believe in our experiences, more than the truth of God's Love and Word. We can become blinded and even become deceived and come to a wrong conclusion. WE can come to an end. We can give up. We can stop moving forward. We can fold. WE can crack under pressure. We can stop doing and being. We can superimpose our experiences over the nature of God, and entirely miss the mark.
God is love and God loves every human being! Exclamation point. Nothing can separate us from that fact. God's love in us can move us to compassion, or we can shut it down. Human life isn't perfect, but God's love is. WE can have faith in our experiences or faith in God's love. WE can choose to live by the Love of God, or we can live by the way we feel about a person, or a situation. We can live to the love of God, and we can die to our own emotional responses to experiences.
This past Sunday our worship leader led our congregation in worship. One of the songs spoke of being led to the cross of Jesus. In worship, we can choose to go to the cross of Jesus and die to one's emotional responses or live to those responses. Dying to one's feelings when those feelings are based on experiences is a portion of what it means to be led to the cross of Jesus. We can experience life after being led to and through the cross of Jesus. We can experience never being separated from the Love of God that is in Christ Jesus.
Hebrews 11:1 1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Lord, when our experiences are less than positive, help us continue to have faith in the Love of God. Help us love others, especially when others are less than loveable.
God's love for us is independent of our performance, our actions, and even our own responses. It is possible therefore in human relationships to model this. Every problem in human relationships and in one's relationship with God can be traced back to some departure from modeling the love of God. Having love for a person, or God involves faith in that person and in God. Having faith in the Love of God holds the possibility of a positive relationship with God, others and the very life we live. God's love forgives, through the finished work that was accomplished in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, God's son. A person can find forgiveness and give forgiveness through a relationship with God, through Christ Jesus independent of others performance, actions or responses.
Luk 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible. (KJV)
Luke 1:37 For no word from God will ever fail." (NIV)
Lord, with you, and through you, nothing is or shall be impossible. We both receive and give forgiveness independent of others performance, actions or responses.
So Be it!
The purpose of receiving a blessing from God is for that same person to be a blessing. A person is blessed, so they can bless. Finding person's and projects to bless is one of the treasured roles of leading a congregation. Missionaries and missions projects are worthy recipients of God's blessings that have come to a person. One's future is made more secure when making a promise of faith to give a portion of a future financial blessing to those who share the love and grace of God throughout our complex and diverse world. Being wellthy (healthy), and wealthy has a higher purpose. At Vienna Assembly of God, the leadership team has designated 10 mission's projects, 26 missionaries, and a destination to run towards virtually to be recipients of one's wellness and wealth. If anyone struggles with consistency in ones wellness and wealth, consider making a future faith promise of that wellness and wealth.
Lord, help us live the life of faith. Help us be consistently blessed in our wellness and our wealth and by faith, we will consistently be a blessing.