A Closer Look

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Happy New Year! It’s just around the corner and I hope you are taking some time to think about your devotions for 2020. Do you have a plan or are you going to shoot from the hip?! I realize that, if you are like me, shooting from the hip is a way of life in many areas.  Sometimes that can work, but if we consider the importance of Bible study (I did NOT say Bible reading), we will take it a bit more seriously.

God often uses the physical to explain the spiritual.  In fact, that is what the parables are all about: an earthly message with a heavenly meaning. So, think of daily time in the Bible as your nourishment for the day. Physically, how much you eat, what you eat, and how often you eat affects your appearance and performance.  The same is true about your Bible study as well (I did NOT say Bible reading). Why do I keep saying that? So glad you asked! Because just reading the Bible like you would read a newspaper article will not affect any change.  That’s like reading the nutrition label.  You must digest the food for it to have any affect!  THAT’S Bible study or meditation. Take it into your heart and mind and let it change you!

  • How much will you eat? Can you eat too much of God’s Word? I don’t think so!
    • 2020 goal: Get FAT spiritually!
  • What will you eat? Will you be satisfied with a verse and a little fluff for the day? Reading devotionals (and blog posts!) are great but get beyond the baby bird stage where mama bird digests the food and then feeds it to her young. YUCK! Man up and feed yourself!
    • 2020 goal: Be discerning about WHAT you read.
  • How often will you “eat God’s Word?” Try to take just 5 minutes of alone time with God. If that’s all you can manage on a DAILY basis, but it’s more than you did in 2019—GREAT! (And don’t forget church! It is SO, so important! I can’t stress it enough.  We just had an older lady start coming to our church and several times she has said to me: “I wish I would have come sooner!” Did she attend church before? Absolutely! She faithfully went to church, but not what I would call a Bible-preaching church!  That makes all the difference!
    • 2020 goal: I will be faith to God’s Word, God’s church, and God’s people. After all, is there any other way to show God our faithfulness?

Several weeks ago, I was vacuuming and I noticed something for the first time: I noticed how to turn my vacuum off. I’ve had this vacuum for over five years, but I never took the time to really look at the switch to see which way was off. I know that sound pretty dumb, but the Lord used that lesson to convict me about my Bible study.  I was challenged to take a closer look. Oh, what joy! The Bible is so rich! It can change your life if you will take the time to digest it!

  • 2020 goal: Take a closer look into God’s Word.

If you need any help in doing that, just drop me a line! Happy New Year!

I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food. Job 23:12

silent–holy–calm–bright

A manger at night with bright glowing lights.

I’m sure you recognize those words taken from the most popular Christmas carol world-wide.  I won’t bore you with statistics, but the above statement is a fact not just my opinion.

As we draw near to this most special night of the year, can we claim these four adjectives and use them to describe our Christmas celebrations?

Though we may not know the circumstances which inspired Joseph Mohr to pen the words of “Silent Night,” these words can be an inspiration to us 100 years later and make this special season more of what it should be.

Silent—Be sure to take some quiet moments to share with your heavenly Father.  Talk to Him. Thank Him for His unspeakable gift—the gift of His only Son—the Champion of our faith who has the power to silence every terror of our souls.

Holy—Please, please, dear child of God, be certain to keep this day holy! The world crowds in on every side screaming at us to reduce this treasured “holy day” to a godless frenzy. Keep it holy.  Keep Christ in Christmas

Calm—Ah! Just speaking the word seems to shatter the chaos. All is calm. That may take some effort, but once again, make it part of your holiday.  You may have to wait until the kids are all in bed or before the household awakens but take make some time to drink the Living Waters of the Word and allow it to calm your soul!  Your calm will spill out into the lives of others, creating a peace in the midst of holiday madness!

Bright—I wonder if Joseph Mohr looked out across the snow-covered trees and rooftops of his 17th-century village, all bathed in the splendor of a billion stars and was overcome with the beauty of starlit snowflakes? All is bright—more than the physical brightness, let the glorious Light that illuminates your soul shine forth.  If Jesus is in your heart, let Him out! Shine! Shine brightly so that others will see the way to…

  • A silent—quiet spirit
  • A holy—blood-washed soul
  • A calm—peace that passes all understanding
  • A bright—heavenly destiny!