Put Away Last Year’s
Negativity and Angst
As 2015 draws to a close, take time this week to take one last look over your year. As you put away Christmas decorations carefully release this past year. It is over. Whatever took place, whether good or bad, has ended. You did your best. If you did not, determine to do better in 2016. As long as you are alive you can move forward. You can think all is lost but that is never the case. Year end is bittersweet. Although it does signal the end of a period of time, it also points to a new year, pregnant with possibility.
There is much in the Bible about looking back. Lot’s wife looked back and was turned to a pillar of salt. Jesus advises that to look back renders you unfit for Kingdom work on earth. Peter speaks of forgetting what lies behind and pressing forward. Does any of this mean you can never remember anyone or anything from the past that brings you joy? Of course not! It does mean not to dwell on offenses real or perceived. Release things you may wish you had done differently, situations you wish you could change…you get the picture. The past is simply that…past.
The key is to put Him first, look forward with anticipation and live each day well. The only time you can affect is right now. Each day well lived becomes a cherished memory. Regrets become fewer. Live well. Pray this week for wisdom and clarity from the Lord to guide you to changes for the coming year. Pray for changes that will truly equip you and restore you to His very best. Perhaps you have lived beneath what God has for you. Change that in 2016!
It Is Always a Heart Issue!
What has already happened cannot be changed by revisiting it in your mind. Rehashing difficult situations may only reopen wounds and hinder healing. When you spend time looking back, healing is thwarted. Life moves forward. Pain looks back.
Check your heart carefully. Really ask God to show you the stony parts that need to be softened. Ask Him to show you where you have been lax about guarding your heart. The issues of life come forth from your heart so take this last week of 2015 to clear anything unfavorable to open the way for God’s favor in your life in 2016.
“Write the Vision, Make It Plain”
Ask the Lord for a word or scripture to guide you through 2016. Write it down. Make it plain. Place it where you can readily see it throughout the day and year. The Lord is ever faithful to provide. You only need to spend quiet time with Him and listen.
I have done this for years. The words I have received each January have carried me through some difficult times as well as some joyous occasions. They are most encouraging. Take the time to seek Him and His direction just for you for 2016.
Prayer for the New Year
Anne Graham Lotz is calling for prayer for our Nation on January 1, 2016. Below is the link to her site. We have long been praying for our country and at this time I join our prayers with Ms. Lotz and all praying for the United States of America.
It Is Never Too Late!
If you have not yet made the decision to accept Jesus into your heart, do it now. Do not wait another minute. Speak to Him from your heart (for it is always a heart issue). Tell Him you have fallen short in your life. Sincerely apologize for your sins. Ask Him to cleanse you and come into your heart and be Lord over your life. From this moment forward let His Spirit guide you along the narrow road that leads to everlasting life.
Quotes To Ponder This Week
“Then He said to another, ‘Follow Me.’ But he said, ‘Lord, let me first go and bury my father.’ Jesus said to him, Let the dead bury their own dead, but you may go and preach the kingdom of God.’ And another also said, ‘Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” ~Jesus, Luke 9:59-62
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” ~Romans 12:2
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” ~2Corinthians 5:17
“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 3:13-14
“Behold, I make all things new.” ~ Revelation 21:5
“But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” ~Genesis 19:26
“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” ~Proverbs 3:6
“Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” ~Proverbs 4:23
“Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” ~Isaiah 43:18-19
“Then the Lord answered me and said, ‘Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it, for the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” ~Habukkuk 2:2
“When you keep your face toward the sun, the shadows will always fall behind you.” ~C.S. Lewis
A Prayer Request
Thank you for your continued faithfulness to pray. Please keep all who serve our country, our diplomatic corps, our servicemen and women and their families in prayer for salvation and safety. They are our front-line on the battlefield, let us be their front-line in the spirit. Also, let us cover all who have come home wounded that they and their families will receive the kindness, help and support they need to go forward in their lives. May the Lord bless them and keep them safe.
Pray for all throughout the world for hedges of protection against radical Muslim extremists and all forms of terrorism. We have long prayed for spiritual victory over radical Islam in Esther’s Warriors Ministry. We now see the reality of this threat come to the forefront in this time in world history.
Please pray for all in authority over us, for the full truth to come forth concerning Benghazi. We as Americans and the families of those murdered in Benghazi deserve to be told the truth. Pray that God will open doors to let the truth on all that has been hidden flow for all of us in this United States of America! The truth shall keep us free.
Pray for peace in Israel. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Pray for Christians throughout the world that face violence and death for their faith.
May God richly bless the United States of America, bring to light every single crooked place and keep her safe. May we arise united once again as One Nation Under God in this auspicious season in our country’s history. We continue to pray for truth to prevail as we saturate this country in prayer and stand for all that is right in America and for all of us who call ourselves American. These are treacherous times and now more than ever we must maintain our walk. Fail not in this hour. #Pray for America.
Please Join Me in Prayer
Father God, We thank You for sending Your Son Jesus Christ to set us free. As this year comes to an end, grace us to release with love all that is not of You in our life. As You close doors let us keep our focus on what lies ahead and fully leave that which is behind. Teach us to look forward with thanksgiving for all You have brought us through. Guide us to those doors You will open in the coming year. Lead us by Your light to Your perfect will in each of our lives ‘for such a time as this.’ Great is Your faithfulness, oh God! We thank You that You keep Your hand on America. Forgive our sin and heal our land that we will remain One Nation Under God. We pray this in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen and Amen.