Been thinking a lot about the new year, goals, resolutions. I could make a list of one hundred things I’d like to change, start or undo. But what God has really made clear to me is that there is one thing I have to do this year, and it doesn’t take a to-do list or set of goals. It is this…
Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3
It can be a distraction to try to figure out what His plan is, or why we’re going through this or that. It is all-consuming to search for what the meaning of the events of our life mean or how to be sure this is the path we’re supposed to take. When you wear a lot of hats it is easy to be paralyzed by the sheer magnitude of attempting to figure out each role to perfection. But, what we need to realize is – none of that matters. We need to run whole-heartedly toward our Savior. Commit each day and the work within it to Him and trust Him to guide us and establish our work for His purpose.
We need to seek Him every step of the way! We need to listen for His voice, trust His purpose for us, and be confident that He is walking us toward it each day as we commit our steps to Him. We need to walk!
Praying that the Lord would direct our steps this year. That we would have hearts dedicated to Him and walk confidently knowing that His plan and purpose for our lives is being established as we commit our work to the Lord. In Jesus name… Amen
Lord God, Jesus is victorious! Let us live in this truth and see His power in your word today.
Revelation isn’t what we usually think about when we are anticipating the birth of our Savior. But, I think it is important to look at who Christ is as we prepare to see His coming as a helpless baby.
READ Revelation 1:9-18
“When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, ‘Fear not, I am the first and the last,and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.'” Revelation 1:17-18
Can you imagine seeing a vision of the risen Savior? Here we see a description of John’s vision and Jesus’s directive. What does Jesus ask him to do?
In John’s awe, he falls to His knees and Jesus does what?
Jesus first comforts John and then declares who He is. Write down the phrases that He uses to describe Himself.
We see a picture of a victorious, risen, eternal Savior what is your reaction?
Lord you are mighty. You are victorious. You are the first and the last and you are the Living One. We praise you for you have conquered death and hold the keys to our eternity. Lord as we prepare to celebrate your birth, help us to see your power and majesty wrapped in the tiny baby in a manger. Help us to see what you gave up to come to earth to be our Savior. Alleluia! In Jesus Name… Amen
Lord God, thank you that the story did not end at the cross. Help us to see a picture of our risen Savior in your word today.
READ Matthew 28:16-20
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
What has God given to Jesus?
With that authority, Jesus gives what directive?
He gives a specific command about who are to be made disciples and how this is done. Write it down.
Then – he gives one of the most comforting passages in scripture. What does he tell us in Matthew 28:20?
Has this passage helped you see Jesus and your relationship with him in a new way?
How does that change the way you will approach life in the new year?
Lord we are so thankful that you have equipped us with the gift of your Holy Spirit. You have given us a purpose and have not left us alone to fulfill it. Today, help us to see your plan more clearly and help us to trust you to guide us, knowing that you will indeed fulfill the purpose you have for each one of us (Psalm 138:8). In Jesus Name – Amen
Lord God, thank you for Your finished work on the cross. Lord help us to see your purpose more clearly, and work in our hearts and minds to reveal yourself to us today.
READ John 19:28-30
“After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), ‘I thirst.’ 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said,’It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:28-30
Jesus came for a purpose – think back to our study of Jesus as the good Shepherd. (“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.” John 10:14-15). What is that purpose?
What does Jesus’s statement “It is finished” say to you (Read also Romans 5:6-11?
He died for you. Jesus died so that you may have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10). Write a praise to God for the gift of His Son!
Lord help us to live abundantly through the finished work of Jesus on the cross. Help us to keep our eyes fixed on Him the founder and perfecter of our faith. Help us to celebrate Jesus’s coming while we remember the purpose of it. Lord help us have hearts and lips full of your praises for we who were once dead have been made alive in Christ. In Jesus name….Amen
Lord God, May we see your relationship to the world and your relationship to us. May we understand how you have equipped us, and help us to know you more completely through the gift of your Spirit, may we grow in your truth and love today.
READ John 15:18-26
“‘And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.'” John 15:27
Again in this passage Jesus discussed the connection between Himself and the Father and the world. What is the distinction that he draws between those who know Christ and those who do not know Him (the world)?
What are the implications of this on His followers?
But…Jesus gives home. Who is He sending?
What will the Spirit do?
How will the Spirit enable believers?
It is pretty amazing to think that when we believe in Jesus, we have the Spirit of the living God dwelling in us! Knowing this, does this passage help you to see your relationship to the world any differently?
What does it mean to you that you have the opportunity to bear witness to Christ through the power of the Spirit within you?
Lord equip us with your Spirit today. Help us to live according to your truth, enable us to bear witness about you. In a world that so readily rejects you, may we shine the light of Christ, especially during this Christmas Season. In Jesus name – amen….
Lord God, help us to see you in your word today. Speak into our hearts your comfort and love. May the picture of the relationship between the Father & Son and your relationship to us become more clear. May your word fulfill its purpose today.
READ John 14:1-6
“‘My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.'” John 14:2-3 NIV
Jesus begins this passage by comforting His disciples. What are the commands he gives them in verse 1?
He then reiterates that He is leaving. But what comforting picture does He give to His disciples?
He then reminds them that He will be returning, and for what purpose?
Though Jesus affirms that they will know the way, Thomas questions that they actually know the way. What is Jesus’s response?
As He seeks to comfort and encourage His disciples, Jesus gives a specific directive about the path to His Father’s House – what is it?
Though only 6 verses, we learn a lot about Jesus, His relationship to us and His relationship to the Father. If you know Him as your Lord and Savior – He is preparing a place for you. Alleluia! What comfort and direction did this passage bring to you?
Lord help us to take comfort in knowing that you have gone ahead to prepare a place for us and that you will return again to bring us home. Help us have confidence in the truth of your word and the life that you offer. May we know your Father as we grow to know you. In Jesus name – amen….
Lord help us to see your love for us as we see this picture of you as our good Shepherd.
READ John 10:11-18
“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me” John 10:14
Make a list of how Jesus describes himself as shepherd.
How does this contrast with the hired hand?
What is the result of Jesus’s shepherding (v. 16)?
Jesus says repeatedly in this short passage that He will lay down His life for His sheep. Count how many times he says it.
After He lays down His life what does He do?
Verse 18 brings a profound statement and a little revelation into the relationship between the Father and the Son. What does Jesus say?
Jesus says, I have been given the “charge” to lay down my life, I have been given authority to do this and I do this because I choose to do it. Jesus loves you so much that He chose to lay down His life for you… His sheep. You are His. You are part of His flock. He cares for you as He cares for all of His sheep, with love, completely and sacrificially. What is your response?
“Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant,equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20
Lord God, you have made clear in your word that you have offered us salvation by one name only. May we understand more clearly today the truth of the Messiah – the one deliverer.
READ John 10:7-11
“‘I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.'” John 10:9
In the first part of Chapter 10 of the book of John, Jesus talks about himself and his sheep. We are going to break this down into a couple of different sections over today & tomorrow to look at what He reveals about himself.
Did Jesus say I am “a” door? No! He says He is _____door. What does that reveal about the way to the kingdom of God?
What happens when we choose to enter through Jesus (verse 9)?
What does Jesus say about the many false teachers who have tried to like like the savior? What do they offer?
In contrast, what kind of life does Jesus offer?
It is a common belief in this time of moral relativism and “spirituality” that we can earn our way to heaven or that there are many paths. But Jesus is very specific here about the way to salvation and abundant life. Take time today to focus on Christ and what He offers you.
Thank you Jesus that you have made a way for us. Thank you Jesus that you offer us salvation, freedom and provision – a truly abundant life. Lord may we be as David in Psalm 18 and declare “I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
Lord God, help us to understand what it really means that you call yourself servant. Help us see you today in a new and fresh way. Lord, help us rest in you…
READ Mark 10:35-45
“‘For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’” Mark 10:45
We looked at this passage in a different Gospel last week. This was the sermon at our church this Sunday, I encourage you to watch it. It gave me a fresh perspective on what it means when Jesus calls himself servant.
Jesus wants to be your servant. Go to Him in prayer and ask him where He can serve you.
Lord, so often we feel we are self sufficient. That we are called to serve you… which we are. But, we are reminded in this passage that you have come to be our servant. Help us to trust in you, to rest in you, and allow you to love us the way you have told us you will. In Jesus name…Amen