This year I'm starting 2015 off right by putting some contemplation into what I'd like to see God do in my spirit, mind, soul and body.
Part of that is following a plan to make the time for meeting with Him and achieving some of the other goals I have.
And one of those resolutions is to blog every weekday during the month of January as I follow that plan. It also goes along nicely with our church's month of fasting and prayer.
So without further ado, I bring you the first day of January's insights:
- Become a Giver
- Become Excellent
- Become Transformed by Looking to Jesus and Embracing the Holy Spirit
Such good stuff and it helped me as I worked on some goals and resolutions for 2015.
Then I picked up my Mosaic Bible and before reading scripture, I read today's reading following the Liturgy calendar entitled "Waiting Fulfilled," and read the following and had to jot it down because it's so true:
"Anything worth having is worth waiting for. But it's so hard to wait."
Then it was time for God's word. Today is the first day in many years that I would be following the Daily Walk Bible reading guide. This one is a bit different than the usual start at Genesis and end in Revelation approach. Each day, you read one portion of the Old Testament, one of the New Testament and one of Psalms or the other poetic books.
I'm already amazed at how the different components dovetail together. Today's readings were Genesis 1, Psalm 1 and Matthew 1. As I read through each one, I jotted down notes/ideas as they came to me.
Although I've read this many times over my life, I tried to clear that away and read it afresh. I was astounded to focus on verses 11 and 12 that talked about seed-bearing plants. For some reason, it just stuck out at me like it was highlighted.
"Then God said, 'Let the land produce vegetation: seed-baring plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.' And it was so.
The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good."
I love that it says "according to their various kinds."
To me, this is the ultimate grace card. I don't have to be Oswald Chambers, Francis Schaeffer or even Francis Chan.
I only have to be me.
- Day One: He brings Light to our lives through His salvation
- Day Two: He brings a natural separation to things that need to be separated in order for us to live a full life
- Day Three: He creates a fertile place in our Spirit where He can plant seeds that will grow into something soul-sustaining
- Day Four: He brings His ordained timeline into our consciousness. Because we have the light of His salvation, we are awakened to His Divine Plan.
- Day Five & Six: He brings life along the way to both nourish us and companionship
And what are we to do with all of this bounty? One thing He tells us to do:
"Be fruitful and multiply." (vs. 28)
We are not to hoard it for ourselves. Rather we need to nurture those seedlings to produce fruit that will sustain us and provide nourishment to those around us.
If that weren't enough, I flipped over to Psalm 1 and the entire thing blew me away, but I homed in on verse 3:
"[The one who does not walk in step with the wicked]...is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and who leaf who does not wither -- whatever they do prospers."
I did a double take when I read verse 3. After all, I had just been focused on seed-bearing and what should I come across next, but well seed-bearing plants!
And finally, I turned over to Matthew 1 and read a lot of genealogy that I stifled a yawn over until it hit me....I was reading about seeds once again!
The very line of Jesus was started in the line of Jesse by one seed and was continued down the line to the conception of the Messiah.
And by then I felt like all three strands of reading came together in one braid.
They are the very essence and existence of life.
I realized that what I am doing with this daily discipline of devotion time with Him is seed-planting. What I did last year has been seed-bearing in my very soul. And although it would be nice if we could plant a seed, add some water and have it bear fruit that same day, the truth is that seed-bearing takes time.
But when it happens and you have that ripe fruit, what you actually have as well is....seeds.
(My brain almost exploded at this point.)
With that revelation reverberating in my soul, I put my Bible away and picked up my devotionals. It would have been really cool if they continued on with the Seed Theme, but they were a breath of fresh air just the same.
Since I started late last year with My Utmost for His Highest, I haven't read the devotional for January 1st in forever. Here is the portion that stuck out to me today and that I wrote down in my planner:
"Paul says -- 'My determination is to be my utmost for His Highest.'
When we consider what it will cost others if we obey the call of Jesus, we tell God He does not know what our obedience will mean.
Keep to the point; He does know. Shut out every other consideration and keep yourself before God for this one thing only -- My Utmost for His Highest. I am determined to be absolutely and entirely for Him and for Him alone."
Likewise, I came to the daily reading of Jesus Calling late, so I am starting over today (as well as reading her forward as to how she was inspired to write the book). Here is what struck me, although the entire things was very New Year inspiring:
"Give yourself fully to the adventure of increasing attentiveness to My Presence."
See what I mean?
My small investment of time reaped huge blessings as I heard God speak to me about the importance of planting and tending seeds, being my very best for Him alone, and giving myself completely to focusing in on Him.
It's when I look back as I write this from the sermon I listened to, to the Liturgy reading about waiting, to the portion about seeds, to the devotional reading about giving God my best that I see how He wove together an amazing tapestry for me to hang on January 1 of 2015.
If today is this awesome, then I can't wait to see what January 2nd brings!