1. From my devotions this morning - Jeremiah 1:1-10 - You may be busy doing God's will for your life - like Jeremiah, he was a priest. In my case, I was busy as a wife, mother, Christian school teacher, and Youth Pastor's wife. And God may have it in His plan to change your direction - Jeremiah from priest to prophet. Me, with Marc's being called to pastor, from the roll of Youth Pastor's wife to the roll of Pastor's wife. And you may not be completely comfortable with those changes - Jeremiah made excuses that he wasn't a speaker, and he was young (and inexperienced). In my case, I am thrilled for my husband, but very nervous in my new roll. I don't feel qualified to fill the position. But then, God tells Jeremiah several things that spoke loudly to my heart, and hopefully to yours as well, regardless of where He is working in your life...First, God reminds Jeremiah that He knew him before he was formed, and He had a perfect plan for Jeremiah even then. God knew before I was born (before you were born) that I (you) would be at this time, in this place, in this position. God then tells Jeremiah that He will be with him, and deliver him, and give him the words to say. Doesn't God tell us the same thing? That He will never leave us, or forsake us? Satan may try to slow down the work we are called to do by planting doubts, and thoughts of insufficiency in our hearts and minds, but God's Word reminds us that He made us just as we are, for just where He has us, to do just what He has for us to do. So then, as Paul writes in Ephesians 4:1 "...walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.". I certainly can't do it alone, but I can relax, and allow God to do it through me, and you can to!
2. From Sunday School this morning - God told the Israelites to utterly destroy the nations they would face in battle in the promised land. His reasoning for this was so that they would be a people set apart and holy. If God was so adamant about the Israelites being Holy, shouldn't we strive to be Holy as well? If we all work on being a little more like Christ each day this year, what a difference it would make! I'm going to make it a conscious effort, and I hope you will too!
3. From the morning service - What to do with the new year - Hebrews 12:1-2 Look Back. Look back, and see those who have gone before (Hebrews 11). They may have made mistakes, but they finished strong. If they can, we can too!
Look In. Look inside your life. Examine your life and see what might be hindering you from serving God as you should.
Look Up. Look up, and find the perfect example of how to live the Christian life, and that is Christ Himself.
4. From a friend - Do not put a bag of already popped fireworks in the back of your truck. It could very well lead to disaster.
All four are very good lessons, if I must say so myself. Happy New Year! What lessons have you already learned, or been reminded of, this year?