A fresh start

So today is January first, a day ripe with opportunity, fear and resolutions.  The day when so many declare that they’re going to shed this, or take up that so that they can be better versions of themselves and have the best year ever.  The first day in a 365 day marathon is like a fresh start, a blank slate to begin writing a new story.  The Bible I read sees a similar parallel as day one of the reading plan starts in Genesis, now that’s a beginning!

Genesis 1: 1-5  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

Today is a brand new day, not unlike others but also with one that looks forward with a renewed spirit and I encourage you to embrace that but also embrace that it’s a new opportunity to reach out to God.  His mercies are new every morning.

I pray that today can be a day where it’s not just a resolution for you, but it’s an opportunity to explore your faith and develop relationships.  To lay down those things that create a distance between you and your heavenly Father.  To set aside those thoughts that you have gone too far from God to be welcomed back.  To embrace a reality that the storms in your life aren’t punishment.  Today is a new day to reach out to God and surrender those Earthly things we all cling to, including a perception that we can’t have what others have.  If a person looking to lose weight were to have that same thought, they’d never take the brave steps of walking into a gym today and in 364 days be seen as a different person.  Because of what Jesus laid down, we can all be a new, washed clean and I pray that may resonate through you as you take your own brave steps.

Put away the bottle.
Let go of that anger.
Stop looking at pornography.
Quit thinking too highly of ourselves.
Quash the thought you’ve been abandoned and aren’t worthy.
Embrace something new that encourages and nurtures your faith and recovery.

Taking some time and reading the Bible each day is a discipline that doesn’t happen overnight.  It’s such a worthwhile discipline that can challenge, teach and develop.  My daily lesson and meditation brings me closer to a Father that adores me.  It helps me see how so many others throughout history have been in positions such as ours.  The highest highs and the lowest lows.  Moments of walking with God, and moments crying out for Him.  Those points of connection draw me in, and draw us all closer in ways that mirror in many ways the connections we feel in our group and other meetings you may go to.  Reminders that we aren’t so unique that our stories can’t be related to those of others.

I want so badly for each of you to maintain and develop the connections you’ve been working on.  I pray that this year can be one that see’s you take tangible steps into the loving embrace of your Heavenly Father.  That you can tape up the box that has your preconceived notions in it, and maybe even forget it exists. That you can feel God with you, and carry that light to others.

Ephesians 3: 16-21  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!  Amen.

 

Grace, peace, love and ever-increasing joy
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