I pray this finds you encouraged with the potential of the year that lies ahead as we come to the end of this first month. The concept of first fruits means that what we do in the beginning profoundly affects what follows. As what we hold in our heart (and it is always a heart issue) will manifest in our life it is critical that we check our heart often and clear whatever does not line up with God’s best for us. We have purposed this first month of 2012 to put God first in prayer and in reading the Bible so His perfect will for us will manifest as the year progresses.
To be fruitful in our life we must also put Him first in relationship and cultivate a deep heart connection with Him on a daily basis. There are so many promises to one who chooses to follow Jesus: we will enjoy the peace that surpasses all understanding, we will be blessed, nothing
will shake us, we will receive a hundredfold in this time. All of these promise and many more are ours. Christians recite them over and over with great authority but often fail to read them in full context. Yes, we are promised all these things but that promise includes certain responsibilities on our part.
Jesus tells us clearly in Matthew 11:29, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” For this discussion the key here is to learn from Him. To learn from Him we have to be in close relationship with Him. What does that really mean? We can learn from Him through reading what He says and how He reacts to people in the Bible, by spending time in prayer and by just putting Him first in our thoughts as we go through the day. He is always there if we will just talk to Him about our daily issues. He clearly tells us that, “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” If He is that aware of us that He knows how many hairs are on our head, He wants to be an intimate part of our day to day endeavors.
As we get closer to Him we will begin to imitate Him in how we treat both ourselves and others. Our heart will soften and we will grow exponentially as we walk out what He has planned for our life. It is a good plan; it is really the best plan. Take time this week to initiate or renew and to cultivate a close relationship with Him. He will not let you down. If you are discouraged with the direction your life is taking make the decision to change it today…seek Him. He created you and has your very best
interest in His heart. Deepen your relationship with Him and find out just what His plan holds for you.
If we open the door to conversation with Him He will engage with us for
His promise to us is: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Open the door. There is no time like the present.
This week please cover New Jersey, admitted to the Union on December 18, 1787, in prayer as we ‘pray the states’ toward the election. God is a God of order and we are ‘praying the states’ in the order they were admitted to the Union. Pray for wisdom and discernment for political leaders, pastors and church leaders, people residing in New Jersey and for all in our Nation as we progress toward the 2012 election for President of the United States of America. These are our United States. Let us pray that we will arise united ‘for such a time as this.’
Thank you for your faithful commitment to pray. May God richly bless you and your family and friends. Please pray for all in our Nation recovering from devastating weather occurrences. Pray for our service men and women who continue to serve to keep us free.