New Year, Great Time to Make Changes
We are entering a new year. This is a great time to reflect and evaluate the past year and pray and ask God what is to come. There are a lot of areas we need to look at.
1- Ask God what areas where I have grown and where do I need to grow? Ask yourself the same question. A lot of times we don't take the time to do this simple principle. We are all in need of growth. We all have grown and need to grow. But it is powerful when we actually take an honest look at our growth and where we need to grow set goals to get there. Ask God what you need to do to get to those goals God has shown you. In Jer 29:11 it says, "For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." God's plans are good and for us. Through spending time with Him hear from him a practical plan to meet your goals. Ask Him for a daily plan if needed to get to your goals.
3- In Proverbs 29:18 it says, "Where there is no vision, the people perish..."
So the question I have for you (and myself) is what is God's vision for 2013 and beyond for you (and me)? When we get a hold of the vision God has for us, it will pull us into the discipline needed to follow through the plans God shows us to grow and the power to overcome the roadblocks that stop those things from happening. We need to have a vision! And that vision comes from God.
What does God have planned for you?
I believe that some people are reading this that you have made plans and they have failed. You came up with visions and they died. You have never overcome your roadblocks, but they have overcome you. For those of you out there, you need to go to the vision source. You need to go to the One who came to set the captives free (Luke 4:18). Jesus is your answer.
Go to Jesus the start of this year and stick with Him throughout. Most of the time He will bring others to help you get past the obstacles you are facing to experience His plan for you (Jer 29:11). He will give you a vision. Ask Him.
May our God who overcame death and the cross be the Over-comer for you in your life in this New Year!
A Bright Light in Dark Times
On December 16, 2011 between 1 am and 2 am a flash flood went through the city of Cagayan de Oro on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. At one point 75% of the city was underwater. Some places where 35 meters underwater. The water went to 8 feet within 30 seconds. Thousands lost their lives just a couple of weeks before Christmas.
We just got back from Thailand and were making plans for our move there. We as a family decided to give more than half our clothes and a bulk of our furniture to victims of the flood.
A day or so after the flood the Mayor came on TV with more than half the city destroyed and with no running water for over a month to come said, "We can't celebrate Christmas with so much destruction." It was dark times.
When Jesus was born it was also dark times in Israel. They had a power crazy man over them with the name of King Herod. Roman oppression was strong. And once Herod figured out a baby who would be called "King of Kings" would be born in Bethlehem he had all the baby boys under two years old killed. Much mourning took place that night.
Joseph and Mary had to flee to Egypt to hide Jesus from Herod until his death. They lived there as refuges in a strange land with people who were very ungodly who spoke a much different language.
Christmas is about Jesus coming and being a light in a dark world. It was dark times then as it is dark times now. But our hope is in Jesus.
Just as Christmas lights light up the night, Jesus is the Light that shines into our darkness and gives hope.
It is in the dark times we need to celebrate Christmas, the birth of Jesus.
You may be facing financial difficulty. You can't find a job. Look toward the Christmas Light.
You maybe facing the soon death of a loved one. He gives hope to the mourning. Jesus is our hope. Jesus is our light.
The most important time of all to celebrate Christmas is in the dark seasons of our lives. May the Light of Christmas (Jesus) shine bright in your Christmas season.
Dustin has been serving as a missionary for 24 years. Here is where he places some of his teaching, thoughts, and updates.